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Andrew Rafalaf
Andrew Rafalaf
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Neuberger Berman Builds Real-time Web Front End for Managers, Clients to Come

Neuberger Berman is creating a browser-based portfolio management system for its internal money managers that updates accounts in real-time.

Neuberger Berman, the New York-based investment advisory, is creating a browser-based portfolio management system for its internal money managers that updates accounts in real-time and includes access to both internal and external research. The firm is set to go live with the first phase of the project which includes rolling up all portfolio information into a single browser front end. The second phase, including live portfolio updates, is set to be released by the end of the first quarter. The firm is also preparing to offer a stripped down version for its clients by the end of 2000.

"We're moving towards Web-to-Web technologies," says Fred Tenaglia, vice president of application development. "Our money managers currently do a lot of this manually, whether its downloading portfolio information from spreadsheets and proprietary systems or calling down to the research department. What we've created is a one-stop-shop."

Making extensive use of XML, the new front end will allow money managers to drill down within a portfolio to more intensive levels of detail, extracting research and data from internal systems as well as outside Web-based and market data sources. Speaking of the importance that XML has played in this project, Tenaglia says, "it allows us to take advantage of other sites that are implementing XML. I can re-route portions of a site to ours. It really is a convenient way of parsing up and then aggregating data."

The second phase of the project will include real-time executions. If a money manager is holding 100,000 shares of IBM, for example, and has traders working another 50,000 shares throughout the day, the portfolios will update automatically as that order is filled. "We're not going to have anymore of this waiting for the next day," Tenaglia says.

Neuberger is employing Microsoft Transaction Server on the back end, as well as tapping into numerous market data sources which Tenaglia declines to name. The Web front end also extracts data from other proprietary systems that reside on Informix and SQL servers.

Tenaglia admits that Neuberger is looking to offer some version of this application to its clients via the public Internet later next year.

Neuberger, which is also weighing whether to buy or build a new order management system, will tie that together with this new Web interface, so that when a trade is executed, the portfolio management system will be updated automatically.

Neuberger manages over $50 billion in assets.

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