Belfast Technology Helps US Bank Control Costs

Bear Stearns and Co. Inc., the New York headquartered global investment banking and brokerage firm, is using sophisticated software developed by Harco Technology to add value to its market data usage analysis and cost management process.

The US investment bank has purchased Harco’s Data Access and Reporting Tool (DART) to monitor trading floor consumption of market data, profile users for appropriate real-time services and switch off expensive unused information services.

Harco Technology, an Invest Northern Ireland client company, has its software research and development centre in Belfast.

Bear Stearns has used DART to identify and turn off costly information services. It then used the software’s ‘Product Best Fit’ system to pinpoint the most appropriate and cost-effective data service from Reuters.

Bear Stearns’ managing director Peter Esler said: “Product Best Fit has proved very useful to us – enabling the bank to optimise our usage of key Reuters data packages and their related costs. DART is fully integrated with Reuters and our FITS inventory system.

“Harco’s DART system adds-value to the cost management process by allowing us to understand exactly how market data services are used. During roll-out of the system Harco has provided a very high-level of support and rapid turnaround of our requirements,” added Mr Esler.

Leslie Morrison, Invest NI chief executive, was briefed about Harco’s latest contract during a meeting with Stuart Harvey, the company’s managing director. Mr Harvey, from Belfast and a graduate of the University of Ulster, formed Harco in 1996.

Welcoming the company’s success, Mr Morrison, said: “This enterprising company has great global potential. It has developed a highly innovative product that has been endorsed by many of the world’s leading financial institutions. Harco is an entrepreneurial business that is prospering through its commitment to innovation.”

Marin Muzinic, Harco’s US sales director, said: “We are very excited that Harco has been endorsed by one of the city’s leading financial institutions. DART has a reputation for increasing efficiency in the business process for managing market data costs. Bear Stearns has a name for tight cost control and we are very pleased to add value at this firm.”

Harco currently employs 15 people including seven in Belfast, the company’s software development and support centre. Around 50 per cent of its business is in the US marketplace,

The company is actively seeking to strengthen its success there and to develop opportunities it has identified in Europe and the Far East. To achieve this, the company has taken part in Invest NI trade initiatives and market support services in the US, the Benelux region and Singapore.

In addition to its achievements in the US financial services market, Harco has developed high profile customers in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.