NEW YORK - New Windows-based asset allocation and performance software tool for optimizing investment portfolios will be available to clients of Frank Russell Co. using Russell's DOS-based Asset Allocation Model.
The new Windows-based software "represents significant advances in asset allocation technology, incorporating downside risk along with traditional mean-variance analysis, as well as enhanced graphics," said Janice Harding, director of Russell Data Services.
The new software will significantly improve the ability of the Russell clients to "model real-world circumstances," said Ms. Harding.
The software tool is from Sponsor-Software Systems Inc., New York. The Russell Co. recently reached an agreement with Sponsor-Software to distribute the asset allocation software package The Expert Allocator and The Expert Performance Analyst, SSI's investment performance measurement system.
The Expert Allocator will be distributed to Russell clients who want to convert to a Windows-based environment.
Russell will also be marketing and distributing the software worldwide.
"We faced a classic build-or-buy decision relative to improving our asset allocation mode. the Expert Allocator incorporates those features we fell are most relevant to institutional investors, said Ms. Harding.
According to Brian Rom, president of Sponsor-Software, Expert Allocator version 2.5 includes the ability to accurately represent and optimize asymmetrical return distributions of derivative, hedge-fund and options strategies.
For further information, contact Mr. Rom at (212) 724-7535.
Zephyr gains clients
ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. - Nine firms have become new clients of Zephyr Associates Inc., Zephyr Cove, Nev., using its investment style analysis software StyleAdvisor.
The firms are Batterymarch, Ernst & Young, JMG Financial, McKinley Capital Management, Pacific Portfolio Consultants, Pioneering Management, State Street Research & Management, Systematic Financial Management and Wells Fargo Investment Management.
The companion software AllocationADVISOR is expected to be shipped to clients of StyleAdvisor early this year.
Trading software released
SAN FRANCISCO - Advent Software Inc. announced the release of trading and order management software, Moxy Release 2, which integrates with Advent's Axys and other portfolio management systems.
"With this latest release (of Moxy), firms have much greater flexibility in choosing their overall solutions mix, yet all can benefit from Moxy's automation and integrated link between their portfolio management and trading operations," said Stephanie DiMarco, president and chief executive officer of Advent.
Ms. DiMarco said Moxy is gaining acceptance because of it is an open software system.
Moxy Release 2 provides enhanced trader order management for equities, fixed income, multicurrency and mutual fund instruments.
Janeen McAnich, president and chief operation officer of Becker Capital Management Inc., Portland, Ore, said Moxy was chosen because it could be integrated with Becker's existing accounting system.
Moxy is based on Microsoft's SQL Server relational database. More information on Moxy can be obtained by contacting Gayle Okumura Sullivan at Advent at (415) 543-7696.
Internet and distribution
NEW YORK - Use of the Internet should cause dramatic reductions in distribution costs for financial services, according to officials at Salomon Brothers Inc., New York, the brokerage and research firm.
In a December report "The Internet Industry - Catch the Wave," it said that although physical distribution channels will not be eliminated, their importance should diminish greatly in selected markets.
The report indicated that with sharply higher growth in Internet use, increased customer service and support will be needed by corporations using the Internet. In using the Internet, corporations require the customer service and support provided by commercial vendors, the report stated. Even though shareware, which often offers minimal support, holds a large share of the Internet server market, Netscape Communications Corp., Mountain View Calif., is the market leader in commercial World Wide Web server software. Citing research from Zona Research, the report stated that Netscape's share of the market for corporate "intranet" sites is about 74% on Windows NT and 84% on Unix environments.
Salomon's researchers expect the number of users on the World Wide Web to increase to 160 million from 30 million currently worldwide.
Reports available online
BOSTON - The research reports Value Finder, Growth Finder and New Issue Finder are expected to be available electronically over the electronic equity research service FIRST CALL Research Direct, Boston.
Value Finder is a quantitative valuation analysis of more than 700 mid- and large-capitalization stocks in 60 industry groups. Growth Finder is a monthly research report which identifies undervalued stocks. New Issue Finder is a series of reports on new issues.
BOSTON - A new version of Northfield Information Services Inc. Portfolio Optimizing System software will give users the ability to place hard constraints as well as quadratic penalties on numerous aspects of a portfolio optimization problem.
Northfield also is developing a new interface for Performance Attribution for Windows that, when combined with its optimizer, will give users an efficient means for detailed backtests and historic portfolio simulations while controlling risk.