In real estate, the mantra is location, location, location.
In the global custody business, it's technology, technology, technology.
And Chase Manhattan Bank spent close to $250 million last year on technology for its Global Investor Services group, said Robert Gartland, a managing director with Chase in Brooklyn. The money went to converting data bases and accounting systems to euros, eliminating paper transactions and preparing for 2000.
And Chase isn't planning to cut back on its spending any time soon, he said.
It's not easy completing the 50,000 or so trades with 2,000 clients daily, some of which are not in line with their custodian technologically, he said. "There's a lack of standardization with each investment manager," he said.
Many trades -- about two-thirds -- are communicated "computer to computer," he said. "But a lot of trades are sent to us by fax or telex," he said. This leads to trades that aren't settled in time to meet the industry goal of "T plus 1," or trade date plus one.
So Chase is paying to install computers or work stations in clients' offices and giving customers software, said Paula Sausville-Arthus, senior vice president.
"We're making everything as electronic as possible," she said.