Instinet said it launched a new version of Plazma, the firm's broker-neutral commission management platform, which helps the buy side allocate dollars to pay for research and technology services.
Among several enhancements, Instinet, the global agency-only broker, said the most significant change is the addition of multi-stratgey functionality to enable users to view budgets and balances on a sub-account level. This is particularly useful for buy-side firms that allocate vendor charges across multiple funds or make CSA (or CCA) payments on a fund-level basis, said the broker.
Sub-account information can be accessed via a drop-down menu on the welcome page, with designations that are fully customizable and may be set by fund name, portfolio manager, analyst, account and sector, according to Instinet.
"The challenges associated with compressed commission pools continue to add pressure to the soft-dollar budgeting and administration process," commented Jonathan Kellner, head of the Americas Region at Instinet. Since Plazma is at its core a broker-neutral workflow solution, we worked with our clients to improve efficiency by adding the ability to track and manage payments on a sub-account level," added Kellner in the release.
A recent study by Greenwich Associates said the proliferation of many CCA programs has led to administrative headaches for the buy side, since they may participate in multiple CCA programs.
The move is important since Instinet will soon become the independent equity trading arm of the Nomura Group.
Buy-side firms that execute through Instinet will be able to pay for proprietary research from Nomura as well as other third party research from other brokers that participate in Instinet's commission management program.
Plazma offers an roster of over 2,000 participating brokers and vendors, an integrated budgeting tool, broker voting functionality and the T*Share commision aggregation service. In 2011, Instinet's commission management offering processed over 30,000 invoices globally worth nearly $300 million.