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Bristol Municipal Charities uses online transaction portal bfinance to select new fund manager

- BMC makes substantial improvements to fund management operations by
tendering through bfinance

5th November 2001 - London - bfinance has today announced that Bristol
Municipal Charities' (BMC) used its online transaction portal to select
a new manager for its balanced advisory fund. bfinance enabled BMC to place its fund management mandate for tender
with over 300 European financial institutions. From the responses
received, BMC was able to select the most beneficial proposition.

The bfinance service saved BMC time by eliminating the need to produce
multiple tender documents and provided increased competition by including more institutions in the tendering process than was possible in the past.

In light of the recent legislation affecting the responsibilities of
charity trustees and the way portfolios are managed, David Jones, Chief
Executive, BMC, decided to re-evaluate the existing management of the
charity's assets. Following an extensive review, the trustees agreed
that an improved service was required to meet future needs. BMC chose to
use the bfinance online transaction portal rather than traditional
methods to tender for a new fund manager.

Jones commented, "bfinance was an ideal way of making a bureaucratic
system very efficient. 25 fund managers were invited to tender and we
received bids back from 11 within two weeks. The level of response was
excellent. We certainly would never have had the time to enter into
discussion with this many institutions individually."

Throughout the tendering process, bfinance provided BMC with information
relating to each bid enabling them to make an informed decision on which
fund managers to shortlist. "The bfinance proposition was attractive,
especially in terms of the comparison of data which could be provided. I
doubt I would have had the time to put that sort of information together
on my own," added Jones. Four companies were invited to make further
presentations and following this Gerrards was selected.

Gerrards was in fact the incumbent fund manager, but BMC now has what
Jones describes as "an improved, enhanced service and better value for
money. Previously I was getting an evaluation once a month, whereas I
now have access to the value of my portfolio at the close of the
previous day's business at all times. And, because it was such a
straightforward process, I would have no qualms in going back to
bfinance to tender again if I am not happy with the performance of the
fund over the next 12 months."

Jones continued, "The level of support was beyond my expectation. By
using bfinance, we saved a significant amount of time and had the
information we needed to select the right fund manager to meet our

Thomas Ross, Managing Director, bfinance, comments, "Using bfinance can
save an organisation a great deal of time, as well as ensuring
transparency and providing an objectivity to the tendering process. The
bfinance service allows the client to define its requirement and compare
a number of criteria on a like for like basis. BMC found this
particularly useful given the guidelines the company wished bidding
institutions to follow."

Ross continued, "BMC is an important transaction for us and demonstrates
our expertise in the charity sector. A number of other tenders are in
the pipeline and our next step is to move into the institutional asset
management arena."