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BITA Plus Consultants Signs Up Proventek for Sales Push to Hedge Fund Hungry Nordic Region

- Growth of complex investments in Nordic region must be backed by proper risk management, says BITA Plus Consultants.
- Swedish consultancy Proventek's local expertise to drive BITA Plus Consultants' sales.

2nd July 2002 - London - BITA Plus Consultants (BPC), the global provider of risk management and portfolio optimisation software, has today announced the appointment of Swedish consultancy and services group Proventek as the exclusive distributor for BPC products in the Nordic region. Proventek will assume responsibility for sales and marketing for the full range of BPC products and provide implementation, training and local support.

BPC's family of products currently serves clients in Europe and the US including pension fund managers, quant analysts, portfolio traders and hedge fund managers. Recent evidence of increasing enthusiasm for complex investments has lead BPC to conclude that the Nordic region is a growth market for its risk management software. For example:

- A February survey by global actuaries Watson Wyatt identified Sweden as one of the countries fuelling growth in hedge funds in 2002.
- In June, the Seventh Swedish National Pension Fund became the first public fund in Sweden to allocate money to hedge funds - to the tune of $100m (EUR109m).
- With the UK and the Netherlands, Sweden is one of only three countries to oppose EU proposals to limit pension fund investment in complex instruments.

Simon Tizard, Managing Director of BITA Plus Consultants, believes that the growth in hedge funds will fuel increased demand for sophisticated risk analysis software to enable fund managers to deal with associated complexity and investment risk. He comments:

"With the explosion in the alternative investment market, BPC will be well placed with support from Proventek to make a major impact in the Nordic region. As the investment industry faces pressure to raise reporting standards, Swedish hedge fund managers will be under scrutiny to add value to portfolios within clearly understood risk parameters. BPC's products enable fund managers to structure risks in line with a given set of investment objectives and through analysis and modelling, gain a clear understanding of the risk associated with a portfolio."

BPC's software allows hedge fund managers to balance the value of their long and short positions in a portfolio and maintain a certain ratio between them. Hedge funds also make money through 'arbitrage' - spotting differences in the prices of equities and currencies in regional markets. BPC's products allow hedge fund managers to exploit these variations instantaneously and systematically.

Bengt Bergstrom, CEO of Proventek says: "The fact that Sweden's pension funds are now starting to use hedge funds to boost the value of their portfolios is good news for investors, but the complexity of such funds cannot be underestimated. BPC is entering the market with the right tools at the right time and with Proventek's local expertise and resources in consultancy and support we are confident that we can provide an excellent service to financial institutions in the region."