LOS ANGELES - Two investment professionals who are testing Capital Management Sciences' new BondEdge for Windows, a fixed-income portfolio analytical system, are giving it high marks.
The professionals testing the product are praising the networking, report writing, ease of use, importing and exporting and analytical capabilities.
"It's excellent. BondEdge for Windows is going to be a tough system to beat when it comes to fixed-income management. It's very close to everything we have wanted in a system," said Dirck Davis, a portfolio analyst with Van Kampen American Capital Inc., Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
"The new (Windows) environment is much more state of the art and user-friendly," said John Slocum, an investment analyst with Keyport Life Insurance Co., Boston.
BondEdge for Windows is expected to be released for general distribution at the end of May. Capital Management Sciences will continue to support the DOS version of BondEdge, but CMS executives said many clients are planning to switch to the Windows version. That version will be offered to BondEdge clients at no extra cost.
"I can see CMS growing rapidly over the next year," said Mr. Davis. He said the product is priced low enough, and it is easy enough to use that it would be worthwhile for companies to network BondEdge to every desk in a department.
The capabilities of the report writer for BondEdge for Windows avoids having to go to a separate product to customize reports, according to Mr. Davis. Other analytical systems he has used in the past, said Mr. Davis, did "a little bit of everything" but were "cumbersome" and didn't provide the capability to customize reports for delivery to various customers.
"We really feel (BondEdge for Windows) is going to feed our marketing system for prospective clients, feed our reporting systems for reporting clients," said Mr. Davis.
The new BondEdge doesn't require users to "back out of numerous screens to get to another part of the program," said Mr. Slocum.
He said it permits users to open multiple windows.
"When it's networked, it is going to be great as far as sharing information," Mr. Slocum said.
Currently, Keyport Life is using a stand-alone DOS version of BondEdge. But, Mr. Slocum said, the new version is so easy to use that other people will be able to use it "to help maintain the information in your system."
"As much as I admire the Windows front end, I don't think that is what people are concerned about. What it comes down to, what people want to know, is does it have good numbers, is it more flexible and does it work much more effectively with the Windows environment. They want the product to give you good analytics, and BondEdge does that," said Mr. Slocum.
Keyport Life plans to network BondEdge; Van Kampen American Capital is considering it.
For information, contact Lorraine DiBacco at (310) 479-9715.
ZURICH, Switzerland - Investors can get free, continually updated forecasts of exchange rates, extending from 30 minutes to three months, on Internet's World Wide Web.
The service forecasts exchange rate volatility and price directions. The Internet address is http: www.olsen.ch/. The first 20 requests for forecasts are free.
The service is from Olsen & Associates, Zurich. Olsen is an early innovator in the collection and testing of high frequency data. The company says it has 10 years of experience in developing new decision support tools for large banks, corporations and portfolio management companies in Europe and the United States. The company employs 35 professionals.
It can process up to 10,000 market maker quotes per currency per day to generate what Olsen says are reliable forecasts. The forecasts are displayed graphically. The company says it plans to expand the use of the service by increasing coverage to 80 currencies in June.
For additional information, contact the company at (41-1) 386-4848; the Internet e-mail address is [email protected]
NEW YORK - A new mutual fund information center and newsletter information center is now offered on the commercial online service CompuServe. The areas can be reached by typing "go fundinfo" and "go newsltrinfo" on CompuServe.
For information, contact MF Information Services at (212) 986-8700.
BOSTON - The North American First Call Real-Time Earnings Estimates database and the Consensus Estimate Snapshot are now available through the ILX Workstation from ILX Systems Inc.
The ILX Workstation provides simultaneous display of real-time prices from North American and international exchanges, advanced analytics, graphics, news, databases, gateways to client in-house databases and third-party financial information services.
For information, contact Clare Powell at (617) 345-2990.
BOSTON - Unica Technologies Inc. has a new line of software that it says manages complex data-driven modeling and pattern classification experiments.
The product, Pattern Recognition Workbench, is a tool for developing statistical, machine learning and neural network solutions for pattern recognition problems in the financial industry. Unica says that once models are built, PRW can export and deploy models across PCs, Sun workstations and other Unix platforms. PRW spreadsheets can handle 16,000 columns by 16 million rows of data.
Unica says its software simplifies the task of building data-driven and statistical financial models. For information, contact Aaron De Los Reyes at (617) 782-8888.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Jefferies & Co. has placed first in Plexus Group's rankings of full-service brokerages firms trading on exchanges.
In Plexus' fourth quarter 1994 report, brokerages Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc., New York; ranked second and Bear Stearns & Co., New York; C.S. First Boston Corp., New York; Prudential Securities Inc., New York; and Oppenheimer & Co., New York, all tied for third.
For Nasdaq trading, Jefferies also placed first, followed by Salomon Brothers Inc., New York. Other brokerages ranking high for Nasdaq trading were Instinet, ITG/Posit; Crossing Network, AZX and William Blair. For information, contact Rosemary Tribulato at (310) 451-5075.