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Asset Management

01:43 PM
Craig McGuire
Craig McGuire
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Linedata Back On Track With LongView

LongView, now under a more stable parent, is battling for clients in the tough trade-order-management space.

Riding a recent wave of new business, Linedata services has come a long way since purchasing LongView last year.

Shortly after buying LongView in early 2001, Linedata found itself under siege. Founder and president Preston Ford had retired, much to the disappointment of clients.

Meanwhile, some wondered if Linedata would ever be able to rekindle the spark that had made LongView attractive enough to survive two previous acquisitions intact - Barclays Global Investors in 1997, followed by Barclays' sale of the group to TenFold in 1999.

LongView's existence under TenFold had been particularly painful, evidenced by a number of senior-level departures. However some of these key executives have recently returned to LongView.

The exodus included Clay Booma, vice president of sales, who left for a post at Brown Brothers Harriman; Henry Stern, another high ranking executive; and software engineer Anu Ranjhan. All three have returned this year, with Booma now in charge of North American sales; Stern the vice president of fixed income, and Ranjhan promoted to a senior-development position.

Meanwhile, LongView has been able to keep its senior management team intact, which includes Jack Weiner, chief operating officer (eight years plus); Randy Guy, senior vice president of development (eight years plus); Annie Mariani, senior vice president of client services (five years); and Alan Price, senior vice president of Europe (five years).

In total, LongView hired 20 new staffers last year, and an additional seven this year, for a 33 percent increase to a total of 85 employees. Those extra hands are being put to good use, as LongView prepares for a new release which features increased scalability.

"We've just signed a really large trust organization with over 200 users, and we're tying the rollout to the release of the new version, which will be more scalable," said Weiner, who declines to name names.

LongView is currently locked in fierce combat with several competitors in the OMS space, butting heads on virtually all potential accounts with the likes of Charles River Development, Eze Castle Software and especially the Macgregor Group, purveyor of the Macgregor Financial Trading Platform (an enhanced version of the Merrin trading platform).

In fact, Macgregor recently issued a press releases heralding its poaching of Chicago Equity Partners LLC from LongView's client roster.

"Macgregor was touting a 10-user shop win over us at the same time we were closing the deal on a client of their's that has 100 users globally, and which also happened to be our sixth Macgregor win," said Weiner.

That deal involved powerhouse UBS Global Asset Management rolling out LongView 2000 in its Chicago and London operations, as well to its Tokyo-based asset-management businesses. UBS Global AM plans to use LongView 2000 to manage its equity-order generation, pre-trade compliance and trading operations (including electronic trading via the FIX protocol). When complete, UBS Global AM plans to use LongView to manage and trade global portfolios representing approximately $130 billion in assets under management.

While Macgregor officials previously disagreed with LongView's scoring of their recent face-offs, company officials did not return calls seeking comment about the UBS Global AM defection.

Meanwhile, the UBS deal came on the heels of news that the Private Asset Management Division of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp Asset Management Inc. - a subsidiary of U.S. Bank National Association, the $120 billion subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. - is also rolling out LongView 2000.

Also this summer, UBS Warburg announced that Gartmore Investment Management in London had become the first client to connect directly to UBS Warburg for global allocations using Linedata's LongView Trading System and the FIX protocol.

Linedata's banking that the news will encourage the vendors current European LongView clients, who actively trade via FIX, to sign on for LongView's FIX 4.2 functionality.

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