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Investment Management Newsflashes: SunGard Sells Wealth Management Outsourcing Unit, and more

Reliance Buys Wealth Management Outsourcing Business From SunGard, Tamalpais Asset Management Chooses Munis From SunGard for Pricing and Modeling, Markit Launches Portfolio Pricing Service for Buy Side, Investment Services Group at Sterling Financial Consolidates Management

Reliance Financial Acquires SunGard's Wealth Management Outsourcing Business
SunGard and Reliance Financial Corp., an Atlanta-based diversified wealth management company, announced today that Reliance has acquired a SunGard subsidiary that offers outsourced back-office services for wealth management organizations. Terms of the transaction we not disclosed.

The acquisition of a wealth management outsourcing business expands Reliance's existing outsourcing business. In addition, SunGard and Reliance have entered into a multi-year agreement, under which Reliance will continue to use SunGard's AddVantage, an asset management, trust accounting and securities processing solution, for its wealth management outsourcing operations.

"We are focused on providing outsourcing services for trust and investment advisors as a core component of our overall company strategy," said Jim Maxwell, chief operating officer of Reliance, in a release. "This agreement with SunGard was a natural progression in our commitment to grow our outsourcing services. We have combined decades of operations and processing experience with an effective partnering approach to outsourcing in building this business. Our clients can focus on the areas where they add distinctive value for their clients and leave the operations work to us. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to serve our new clients and look forward to improving services for all of our clients as a result of this expansion."

Tamalpais Selects SunGard's Monis to Price and Model Convertible Bonds Tamalpais Asset Management (TAM), a newly formed hedge fund based in California, has selected SunGard's Monis for pre-trade analysis and risk management. Monis provides management and analysis, pricing data, and specialized training for convertible arbitrage traders. Tamalpais specializes in U.S. convertible arbitrage, with plans to expand to international convertibles. It will use Monis to price and value convertible issues, to scan the existing universe of convertibles for trade opportunities, and to manage the risk of its entire portfolio, including credit, equity, volatility and interest rate hedges. As a spreadsheet-based pricing, analysis and hedging solution for convertible bonds and other equity-linked securities, Monis provides functionality within an easy-to-use, easy-to-deploy application.

"We selected Monis because it is a standard reference point for pricing convertible issues and a powerful tool for quantifying the risk of our positions and related hedges. Monis also gives us a number of upgrade options so that the solution can grow alongside our business," said Paul Giordano, chief executive officer and founder of Tamalpais, in a release.

Markit Launches Portfolio Pricing Service for Buy Side

Markit Group Limited has launched a portfolio valuations service for its buy-side clients for pricing complex, illiquid instruments. Aimed at mutual funds, hedge funds, traditional asset managers, fund administrators, custodians and banks, the service was launched to address growing concerns among investors and regulators over the lack of accurate independent valuations for complex, illiquid instruments, the company says.

In June of 2005, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) published a discussion paper called "Hedge Funds: a Discussion of Risk and Regulatory Engagement" in which it warns about valuation weakness methodologies and processes creating "significant potential for ill-informed investment decisions," the release stated. Markit Portfolio Valuations provides independent post-trade calculation of the gross asset value of a portfolio of trades. The service covers a wide range of securities and OTC derivative instruments, both vanilla and exotic.

Proprietary data from 60 leading market makers is used to drive the Portfolio Valuations service. Markit claims the ability to refer to these prices, which span over one million data points collected daily, sets Markit apart from alternative services. Markit's unique view of second order inputs, such as option volatility, smile and skew as well as detailed correlations is used to ensure the accuracy of valuations, the company says.

Investment Services Group at Sterling Financial Corporation Aligns Under Single Management

The three affiliate companies of Sterling Financial Corporation that serve customers with wealth management, investment, trust and securities brokerage services are being aligned under a single Sterling Investment Services Group management. The three affiliates are Church Capital Management, Bainbridge Securities and Sterling Financial Trust Company.

"This is an evolution of where we have been headed with trust and investment services ever since Congress passed the Financial Modernization Act in 1999 allowing us to offer a broad array of financial services to our clients," said Greg Lefever, senior vice president for High Net Worth Services at Sterling, in a release. "We have three complementary businesses that together offer customers a full range of services for financial and estate planning, investing and portfolio management. Realigning them under common leadership is an important part of effectively meeting the investment needs of our customers with anywhere from $1,000 to millions of dollars to invest."

With assets of approximately $3.0 billion and investment assets under administration of $2.5 billion, Sterling Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services company based in Lancaster, Penn. Sterling Banking Services Group affiliates offer a full range of banking services in south-central Pennsylvania, northern Maryland and northern Delaware. The group also offers correspondent banking services in the mid-Atlantic region to other companies within the financial services industry. Sterling Financial Services Group affiliates provide specialty commercial financing; fleet and equipment leasing; investment, trust and brokerage services; insurance services; and human resources consulting services

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