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Risk Management

10:47 AM
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Barra Launches Information Site for Investment Managers

Barra Vantage information source to offer users both quantitative and qualitative data for investment managers.

Barra Vantage information source to offer users both quantitative and qualitative data for investment managers

Barra is switching gears from its usual risk management system offerings to deliver its Barra Vantage online information engine. The Barra Vantage site offers commingled quantitative and qualitative data for research and analysis according for institutional investment professionals and asset managers.

Quantitatively, Barra Vantage offers Barra's own risk data and valuations, including beta books, valuation signals and model return factors, as well as earnings information, indexes and benchmarks, global daily yield curves, fund performance analysis and company fundamentals. The information site also includes research, journal information, academic white papers, and news geared toward investment managers.

"Over the years we've had a lot of clients give us feed back and they've said they'd like to access the content and data that drives our risk products outside of those applications," says Roveen Bhansali, vice president of Barra. But he adds that while existing Barra clients are potential users, the Barra Vantage product is targeted at any buy-side professional interested in risk data and corresponding research.

He adds that users can also download customized quantitative information searches into Excel spreadsheets, as well as research information into PDF files. The Barra Vantage offering uses what Barra calls TargetSearch technology, which enables users to enter a key word and search all data and research information on the site.

Barra also offers the Barra Vantage information for internal use by financial services firms. "If firms are interested in either customizing the site for their own look and feel or if they are interested in plugging in their own databases, we will also be able to create an intranet version of Barra Vantage and deploy it for them," says Bhansali. Barra Vantage is Barra's first foray into Internet delivery of products and services, but is a route that clients have been asking for. "The Internet is almost ubiquitous and it's getting more so," says Bhansali. "And the fact that our clients could be any where and access this information and don't have any overhead in terms of installing a product or downloading an application is very important."

The Barra Vantage product is priced based on the data and research accessed, with some basic information provided free of charge and premium information on a subscription or a pay-per view basis. "There's so much information out there in the public domain as well as behind private networks," adds Bhansali. "There's almost too much information, so we're trying to provide a very targeted, filtered, high-quality data information mechanism for clients to access the information without too many mouse clicks." Users can sign up to access the information with a user ID and password and www.barravantage.com.

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