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Processing Information More-Readily and Mobile Information Access Are in Putnam Investments' Near Future

Senior Managing Director and CTO Philippe Bibi is taking advantage of 64-bit technology to gain more in-memory distributed processing at Putnam Investments and is upgrading mobile information access capabilities.

Putnam Investments
Philippe Bibi
Senior Managing Director, Chief Technology Officer

Putnam Investments
One Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109


$182 billion in assets under management as of May 2006.


Member of the Putnam Investments executive board of directors, executive committee and advisory council. Enron Corp.: president and CEO, Enron Networks, 2001; managing director, CTO, 1998-2001; VP, CTO, wholesale merchant unit, 1995-1998. Lehman Brothers, SVP, global equity systems, 1992-1995. Bankers Trust Co.: VP, head of equity systems, 1991-1992; VP, trading and risk management systems, 1989-1991; project manager, 1988-1989. James Capel Bankers, project leader, 1986-1988.


B.S. from Brunel University, London; M.S. from The London School of Economics and Political Science.


Assumptions can be dangerous in our business. In the mid-80s, I was working in options. Someone forgot to exercise an option. It never would have occurred to me that anything that was so deeply in the money would be missed by the business. It's not what you think -- it's what happens that matters.

Top 3 Current Projects

Front-End Systems Investment


Ensure that all of our more-exotic product types, particularly on the credit side, are fully automated and are no different than the plain vanilla stock trading that we do. We're continuing to put a lot of assets in our investment front-end systems, especially with derivatives and straight-through processing.

Replace OMS System


Remove our custom equity order-management system platform and move to a third-party software provider. We're in the process of implementing our first desk in August.

Improve Data-Dissemination


Improve our research systems capabilities and data dissemination capabilities. We have a lot of people who travel constantly. We are looking carefully at the type of tools we use in the research space, primarily equities, in order to simplify information delivery. We're really trying to focus on the presentation of the data and making sure that visual clues are straightforward and have drill-down capabilities that will give the portfolio manager pinpoint accuracy for the given situation.

2007 Initiatives

64-Bit Processing

There's new technology that allows us to process information more readily. We're continuing to look at more in-memory distributed processing, given that 64-bit technology gives us advantages that we did not have with 32 bit.

Information Mobility

We're keen on mobility and accessing information through devices -- not necessarily within our firewall, but outside our firewall.


IT Budget:


Key Technology Management:

  • Eric Meltzer, Managing Director, Investment Systems

Size of Technology Team:


Percent of IT Projects Outsourced:

Putnam has made use of outsourcing and has been using offshore resources, primarily in India, for the past decade. This is not uniquely driven by economics, but also our ability to use the time zone difference to provide round-the-clock support to our user base in Europe and Asia.

Key Technology Partners:

We do not have a "not invented here" mentality. We have IT relationships with financial sell-side institutions. Our component-based architecture affords us the ability to associate with other financial institutions or third-party software companies.

Success Metrics:

We do not have the luxury of being able to invest in all the projects that people want us to do. It comes down to us sitting down with businesses and ensuring that the things they need the most are worked on first.

Would your firm consider partnering with other IM firms?


Vision: The Next Big Thing

Service-oriented architecture. You used to have application teams that were dedicated to particular systems. SOA allows us to move to a new paradigm in which people within the technology team who have certain expertise create a component and make it available to the whole organization. That allows you to do more with less. It also allows us to reduce our turnaround time. That means you have less to maintain and you can focus your assets on building functionality.

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