ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. - The floating bar chart used in investment performance measurement comparisons almost everywhere is "totally obsolete," said Steve Hardy, president of Zephyr Associates Inc., maker of investment style analysis software Style Advisor.
About 20 years ago, the former consulting company A.G. Becker developed the manager universe comparison with the floating bar chart to show how a manager's performance ranks against its peers, said Mr. Hardy. He said about every major consulting firm in the United States has adopted the floating bar chart comparison method.
"When we decided to add a similar capability to our Style Advisor software program, we wondered why this analysis has only been done for the very discrete time periods - one-year, two-year, three-year and so on - when the technology exists that enables us to display how a universe changes on a monthly or quarterly basis," said Mr. Hardy.
When consultants look at a manager's performance over the past one-, two- and three-year periods, it can be misleading because the analysis can be influenced by one year of good or bad numbers. Using Style Advisor, investors can analyze performance by observing rolling periods, which Mr. Hardy said is a more sophisticated and a more accurate analysis. For information, call (702) 588-0654.
TACOMA, Wash. - Sales of copies of Russell Performance Universe software have increased, up about 15% for the quarter ended June 30 from the previous quarter since a version compatible with Microsoft Windows has been released.
According to Russell Data Services, a division of the consulting company Frank Russell, Tacoma, about one-third of the 100 largest money management firms use RPU, which provides data on about 900 money managers.
Russell is installing the software worldwide and has licensed it to its 300th client.
The software enables managers and plan sponsors to create sophisticated charts and graphs to show their investment results compared with market indexes.
"We use it. We just converted to Russell Data's new Windows version. It's very useful. We use it extensively in client portfolios - showing how they have performed vs. market indices, other managers and peer groups," said Gerald N. Brown, an equity trader at Becker Capital Management, Portland, Ore.
The firm, a value-oriented equity and balanced manager, has $800 million under management. The value style was out of favor with the market in the later 1980s and 1990. "Over the last three years it has come back in style, and the software really helps in our marketing," said Mr. Brown.
Mr. Brown said he likes Russell's service, too. "In terms of the software, their back-up client services are excellent. The technical support people they have are excellent in trouble-shooting problems. If something you need isn't on the database, they will find it. They are very customer-oriented and that is why we continue to subscribe. You don't just buy a package and then are left on your own."
Other money managers using the software in the United States include Aeltus Investment Management Inc., Hartford, Conn.; Aronson + Fogler, Philadelphia; Delaware Investment Advisers Inc., Philadelphia; Meridian Asset Management, Valley Forge, Pa.; Neuberger & Berman Management, New York; and RCB Trust Co., Stamford, Conn.
Russell also is selling the software in Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and elsewhere.
For more information call (206) 594-1734.
PRINCETON, N.J. - Continental Insurance Co., New York, and Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co., Philadelphia, have licensed PAM for Securities portfolio accounting and management software from Princeton Financial Systems Inc.
Continental, with an investment portfolio of $16 billion in total assets, will use PAM on a local area network.
Provident, with an investment portfolio of $14 billion, will do the same.
Steve Hemmerick can be contacted through the Internet at [email protected]