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Investment Management Newsflashes: Credit Suisse to Merge Private Banking Subsidiaries, and more

Credit Suisse to Merge Private Banking Subsidiaries, Northern Trust Gets Socially Responsible, AQR Capital Management Invests in Cisco, Old Lane Chooses Triple Point

Credit Suisse to Merge Private Banking Subsidiaries

By early 2007, Credit Suisse plans to merge its private banks—Clariden Bank, BGP Banca di Gestione Patrimoniale, Bank Hofmann and Bank Leu—plus the securities dealer Credit Suisse Fides to form a single autonomous bank. To be known as Clariden Leu, the bank will be headed by F. Bernard Stalder, currently CEO of Clariden Bank.

The merger is expected to generate synergies resulting in additional net income of around CHF 100 million per year from 2008. The merger requires the approval of the Boards of Directors of Credit Suisse Group and the five entities as well as the prior consent of the Swiss Federal Banking Commission.

"With this strategic move, Clariden Leu will become one of the leaders in the Swiss private banking business," said Walter Berchtold, CEO of Private Banking of Credit Suisse and designated Chairman of the Board of Directors of Clariden Leu, in a release. "Moreover, it will have the critical mass in all market areas to invest in the continued expansion of its international business and play an active role in the ongoing consolidation process in this sector."

Northern Trust Gets Socially Responsible

Northern Trust recently announced the addition of Socially Responsible Investing guidelines to Northern Trust Compliance Analyst, a customizable, Web-based tool that monitors investment portfolio guidelines and reports those that are nearing or have breached established limits.

Northern Trust has formed an agreement with Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a leading provider of corporate governance and SRI data, to provide research through Compliance Analyst to determine whether institutional and wealth management clients are investing in companies that derive revenue from potentially restricted areas. Users will be able to select from the following 10 socially responsible investment restrictions: adult entertainment, alcohol, animal testing, board diversity, contraceptives/birth control, firearms, gambling, labor relations disputes, tobacco and weapons production.

The new SRI capabilities for Compliance Analyst rely on ISS' environmental, social and governance screens, which identify companies that derive revenue from a particular source, such as tobacco, alcohol or gambling. Compliance Analyst enables users to set tolerance levels for SRI guidelines, so that none, or no more than a set percentage, of a portfolio's holdings are invested in the restricted industry or activity.

AQR Capital Management Invests in Cisco

AQR Capital Management, which provides investment management services for pension funds and other corporate clients, has selected Cisco MDS 9000 Multilayer fabric switches as the basis for their storage area networks (SAN).

To accommodate data growth and support a more robust disaster recovery plan, AQR invested in a SAN using a dual redundant fabric design that connects EMC storage to AQR's servers. The new SAN is based on three Cisco MDS 9216i Multilayer Fabric Switches that include dual power supplies.

"The east coast power blackout of 2003 increased our sense of urgency," said Jerry Levine, vice president and head of IT at AQR, in a release. "Now even the e-mail servers have redundant connections. With all this redundancy, there is not a single point of failure. In the event of any kind of disaster, all the data on our headquarters SAN has been safely replicated to our remote colocated disaster recovery SAN over a pair of OC3 circuits."

Old Lane Chooses Triple Point

Triple Point Technology, a provider of real-time, multicommodity trading and risk management solutions, has announced that Old Lane, a New York-based investment firm, has chosen Triple Point's software solution for trading energy commodities and related derivative instruments.

Old Lane, which launched a multi-asset and multicommodity hedge fund in April, was founded last year by a group of former top executives at Morgan Stanley, a long-time Triple Point client. After an extensive search, Old Lane chose Triple Point because it offered a viable solution that met the firm's requirements, according to the company.

Old Lane wanted to implement a system rapidly—in 3 months—and required a single platform capable of supporting both physical and financial trading of energy commodities, including power, natural gas and oil; was intuitive to use for diverse users; and could easily scale to meet the fund's future needs. The firm licensed Triple Point's flagship product, Commodity XL, in January and went live with the full solution at the beginning of this month.

"Our financial services clients demand the most from us. Functionally, they have the most sophisticated requirements for pricing, risk management, and decision support and analysis. Technically, they demand real-time processing and unmatched scalability driven by high transaction volumes and complex trading strategies," said Peter F. Armstrong, president and CEO, Triple Point Technology, in a release.

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