LONDON - Investment managers can assess financial returns against non-investment risks of securities markets in a new operational risk-adjusted index.
"Emerging markets are often viewed homogeneously as high risk; however, the index clearly indicates this perception is not accurate - some are more efficient than traditional major markets," said Richard Schwartz, director of GSCS Benchmarks, London.
GSCS Benchmarks and Thomson Electronic Settlements Group, also in London, formed an alliance recently to launch the index. The GSCS/Thomson Index measures the performance of 36 major and emerging equity markets and composites.
Running four years of historical data through the index module produced surprising results about operational costs, according to the developers of the index.
"As operational cost accumulates over time and investment return fluctuates, the impact of operational factors can make the difference between a positive and negative return over a specific period," Mr. Schwartz said.
Operational costs, he said, can shave 30 to 70 basis points off annual returns in major markets and 50 to 180 basis points in emerging markets. "With large institutional portfolios, that can add up to significant sums," said Mr. Schwartz.
It is the first investment return index to have an operational risk weighting and provides the international investment community with a more accurate indication of the true returns of investments.
For further information, contact Mr. Schwartz, at (44-171) 415-7199.
Stock graphics makeover
CHICAGO - A software program displaying graphics about the stock market has been improved by Ibbotson Associates, Chicago.
Ibbotson's PowerPoint program, which is similar to and works with Microsoft Corp.'s PowerPoint presentation program - covers asset allocation, global investing and investment principles. Users more easily can tell a story with it, such as the growth of $1 in different mutual funds from 1976 through 1996, according to Heather Fabian, public affairs manager for Ibbotson.
The new program can stagger lines or bars on individual charts and graphs. It also provides more defined images, larger graphics, reduced footnotes and simplified explanations.
Prices begin at $250. For more information, contact James Quinlivan at Ibbotson at (312) 616-7583.
PORTIA partners with Sybase
BOSTON - The PORTIA division of Thomson Investment Software, Boston, has become a worldwide commercial application partner of Sybase, Emeryville, Calif.
"The Sybase SQL Server 11 database has become the standard in the financial sector for creating industrial-strength client/server solutions," said Robert Leaper, director of business development for PORTIA. "With this new high-level partnership, Thomson will now be able to freely integrate the latest Sybase technology with PORTIA's innovative applications, thereby solving mission-critical portfolio management problems."
The new partnership is expected to result in a more efficient acquisition and implementation process for purchasers of the PORTIA Advanced Platform Option.
PORTIA is a portfolio reporting, trading and investment analysis system for middle to large asset management operations.
For further information, contact Mr. Leaper at (617) 856-2762.
PORT CHESTER, N.Y. - Alan Levy was named director-contributing relations department for Nelson Information Inc.
He had been vice president-contributor relations for I/B/E/S International Inc., New York.
His duties at I/B/E/S are now being handled by Rick Pucci, president.