Magazine article American Banker

Microsoft Unveils Software to Process Securities Trades

Magazine article American Banker

Microsoft Unveils Software to Process Securities Trades

Article excerpt

Microsoft Corp. is bringing the securities industry under its financial services computing framework.

The announcement is, in effect, an extension of what Microsoft calls Windows DNA FS-Distributed interNet Applications for Financial Services- which was introduced to banks in December at the Bank Administration Institute's Retail Delivery '97 conference in New Orleans.

Microsoft said the product would enable brokerage and investment firms to achieve straight-through processing-the automation of transactions from initiation through the end of their life cycle.

Much of securities trade settlement still requires paper forms and manual reconciliation, in part because of the incompatibility of computer systems from one firm to the next.

Windows DNA FS could be the basis of a common language by which computer systems exchange information.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced DNA for the securities industry via satellite from his Redmond, Wash., office to more than 1,000 executives and software partners at the recent Financial Markets Summit in London.

Straight-through processing is seen as one of many "mission-critical" functions into which Microsoft is trying to insinuate its technology. Matthew Conners, Microsoft's marketing manager for financial services, said, "The way I view it, there is a massive problem with investment transactions from retail or institutional investors that have to be manually processed. Ideally, we could capture it once electronically."

Several processing standards are available, including Financial Information Exchange, or FIX, and the Swift international banking communications network's 500 Series, but these solve only parts of the problem, Mr. …

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