Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) has released an index product dubbed FX BenchmarkView, to match the Morgan Stanley Index rates. Additionally, the New York-based private bank is developing a Web-enabled version of its FX OrderView service, as another module available under FX WorldView. FX WorldView is the bank’s online service developed in conjunction with Cognotec.
FX BenchmarkView has been live for more than a year, but was recently made available to clients over the Internet. “The goal of this service is to make index managers benchmark neutral, allowing
them to focus on their primary role, which is investing in indices and stocks,” says Jeff Scott, senior vice president in charge of global FX relationship management and marketing in New York.
“This is a two phase solution for clients,” says Scott, “both in providing the bench-mark rates, and as an electronic system to help aggregate currency exposure. Guaranteeing FX rates on a daily basis eliminates the risk.”
BBH is also developing an Internet-enabled order management system, FX OrderView, to enable clients to place limit orders and generate trade reports more efficiently.
The product currently exists on desktops, but an Internet front- end will roll out to clients in Q2. Additionally, BBH plans to offer a chat facility on FX WorldView, also to be made available during the second quarter.
BBH FX is currently redeveloping its homepage, with additional enhancements to include a range of charting tools, analytics and pricing calculators, as well as a broadcast facility for economic events and news.
In the fourth quarter, BBH will be expanding with a new team of relationship managers in Tokyo. BBH conducts all trading out of New York, so the addition of Tokyo will give the bank two client access points overseas.
“Technology has helped us set up a model in London and Tokyo which acts as a transparent satellite office to our headquarters in New York. Without the technological links, we would have to replicate what we have in New York in both London and Tokyo,” says Henry Wilkes, BBH’s head of relationship management in London.
FX WorldView launched with US and European clients in September 2000, while a Japanese language version followed. The release marked the first time that a major custodial bank has used Cognotec’s AutoDeal Lite service to target the investment management community. Pricing is made on a request basis, and the service offers spot trading in 23 currencies, forward and swaps orders of up to one year, including broken dates, allocations and aggregation of funds.
Since FX WorldView launched, Scott says 10-15% of customer volume has migrated to the system. He hopes this will grow to as much as 25-50% by year-end.
The new feature further enhances BBH’s suite of WorldView products – which includes BIDS WorldView, Risk View, Fund WorldView, and FX WorldView – and is designed to give BBH clients “the highest degree of flexibility and quality in reporting and assessing their accounts”, says a spokesperson. The WorldView Web site, www.bbh.com, is accessible globally on a 24-hour basis.