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Risk Management

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Platform Computing launches grid application for speeding up spreadsheet calculations; Study shows largest financial firms are prepared for disaster, while small firms lag; Reserve Bank of Australia choose Open Link's Findur.

Platform Computing introduced a grid-computing capability for Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to speed up compute-intensive models such as those involved in exotics or derivatives trading. The Adapter for Microsoft Excel is a standard feature within the Platform Symphony Suite. The application taps into the power of idle computers to run financial applications faster. This new feature enables the supercharged processing of compute-intensive Microsoft Excel spreadsheets by transparently distributing the calculations through Platform Symphony to any number of internal compute clusters. By accelerating spreadsheet processing via the grid, Platform says financial firms can increase the number of trades they execute without the need for additional programming and special training.

The largest financial services and futures-industry firms are well prepared to respond to a major threat or potential disaster, while smaller firms lag behind, according to a study conducted by the Tellefsen Consulting Group, Inc. (TCG), a Wall Street management and technology-consulting-firm. Half of large firms say they are "very well prepared," while most small firms rate themselves as being "adequately prepared," says TCG. Fifteen percent of small firms rate themselves as "in fair shape" compared with 32 percent of large firms.

The study reveals that 85 percent of the largest financial services and futures industry firms have adopted both business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) plans. Most firms have a dedicated person or group accountable for BC/DR planning and budgets and firms conduct planning on a centralized basis. However, results were mixed when it came to support for recovery operations. Thirty-two percent of large firms that assessed their strategy, readiness and procedures to support recovery activities, reported that they were not prepared, while just sixteen percent said they were well prepared.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has licensed Open Link's Findur solution to support the bank's financial market operations across front, middle and back-office functions. Findur is an integrated, multi-market trading, risk, and operations solution that streamlines trade-lifecycle processes. RBA will implement Findur to replace multiple in-house systems, creating an integrated IT platform for dealing functionality, risk control, operations and accounting as well as settlement processing, including SWIFT connectivity.

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