- The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) selected Volante Technologies data and process-integration software to build its Real-Time Transaction Reporting System. This system will allow municipal securities dealers to report activity through a real-time, interactive messaging system. The data will be compiled to publish daily transparency reports and to allow regulatory surveillance. "Volante allows us to rapidly roll out messaging applications," states Tom Hutton, chief information officer, MSRB, in the release. He adds, "Volante was chosen for its richness in ISO 15022 support and it's zero lock-in technology for building complex messaging applications." MSRB chose Volante after a thorough comparison of different vendor products by a third party.
- Scottrade, the online brokerage firm, installed a back-office and new order-management system from Computer Research Inc. (CRI). The new systems give Scottrade a larger capacity cushion and faster trade executions. "Converting systems was essential for the growth of the firm. Not only did we need the capacity, but our execution times and availability times improved dramatically," states Scottrade's president and CEO Rodger Riney.
- A new alternative investment firm, Financial Labs that has launched in Cambridge, Mass., is applying the scientific method to developing and back-testing trading models. It draws on the analytical, mathematical and computational training of five Harvard University trained physicists and astrophysicists who seek to capture the inefficiencies in financial markets. The firm's edge is in applying highly sophisticated mathematical and statistical techniques, states Aaron Sokasian, a founder and manager of the research team.
- The FIX Protocol Ltd. (FPL) organization published a "FIX Implementation Guide for FPL members to serve as a reference point for firms beginning the FIX implementation process. The objective is to educate firms about the key elements and potential pitfalls of implementing FIX into their infrastructure. This was the brainchild of FPL's Global Fixed Income Committee, which played a key role in its development. The guide is a collaborative effort of over 25 firms, and covers implementation from a variety of disciplines including trading, technology and testing.
- Plexus Group ranked BNY Brokerage as one of the top five brokers for best execution in medium-cap exchange-listed stocks. BNY brokerage is an established agency-brokerage firm with broad trade execution and commission-management capabilities, and is a member of the BNY Securities Group, owned by Bank of New York. Plexus reports the rankings from its Plexus Broker Universe, a transaction-database compiled from trade data contributed by 125 investment managers and representing more than 800 brokers.