London, UK, 4 October 2004 - Buttonwood Tree Group, the rapidly expanding
business consultancy, has today launched its Market Data Benchmark Service,
enabling financial institutions to measure market data costs against industry peers. The first benchmark, published today, focuses on fund management and will be followed by an investment banking benchmark early next year. This new service complements Buttonwood Tree's existing Market Data Optimisation service that helps financial institutions realise and sustain substantial market data cost savings.

Market data is recognised as a significant cost outlay for financial institutions, it is often one of the largest operational costs after IT. Senior executives and market data managers often struggle to understand how these costs are distributed across the enterprise and how annual spend compares with competitors and peers. Buttonwood Tree recognised the need for a formal cost benchmark and has drawn on its experience and success in the management and control of market data to develop a structured Market Data Benchmark Service.

Many larger organisations benchmark the costs of market data across different business areas. Buttonwood Tree's approach will add a further benchmark against a peer groups' market data spending. As financial institutions continue to closely monitor spending, the Buttonwood Tree Market Data Benchmark Service can demonstrate progress towards optimal cost management for market data.

Liz Gurney, head of technical services for market data at Buttonwood Tree Group said: "The Buttonwood Tree Market Data Benchmark Service will illustrate differences in spend between business areas and market data type. This will give market data managers the ability to compare the market data costs against the value of the business in each department, in turn providing a greater understanding of return on investment for data services."

Buttonwood Tree has formed charter groups to establish a set of peers for brokers, fund managers and investment banks for the Market Data Benchmark Service. The charter group for fund management, who provided the underlying data for the benchmark launched today, includes Hermes and Newton Investment Management Ltd. Buttonwood Tree has compiled aggregated costs in specified
market data classifications, including real-time pricing and news and static
reference data that. The underlying cost data, that is stored anonymously,
is normalised and regularised to form the basis of a truly comparative

Organisations that participate in the Buttonwood Tree Market Data Benchmark
Service will gain an accurate view of market data operating costs matched to
their functional operating model. The benchmark can be used to validate budget forecasts as it provides a 'like for like' comparison of market data operating costs. It will enable more precise forecasting of the impact of business decisions, such as the addition of new financial products, which may require increased market data subscriptions.

The Buttonwood Tree Group is working with many leading financial institutions to improve the efficiency of their business operations through effective cost management programmes. Buttonwood Tree's Market Data Optimisation Service analyses market data use and spend from both a strategic and practitioner point of view. Buttonwood Tree's results-orientated approach delivers sustained cost savings and enables proactive management, not simply administration, of market data. Customers include Abbey and UFJI.

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