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Charles River Completes Second Major Milestone in New Technology Strategy with Release of Charles River IMS v7.2

- On-schedule Delivery Introduces New Java Compliance Engine and Web-based Reporting –

Burlington, MA (March 22, 2004) – Charles River Development, a leading provider of financial software and consulting services to the global investment management, banking, pension, and insurance industries, today announced the on-schedule delivery of Version 7.2 of its Charles River Investment Management System (Charles River IMS). Charles River IMS is an integrated software suite for portfolio management (Charles River Manager), order management and trading (Charles River Trader), and real-time compliance (Charles River Compliance). The release marks the second major milestone in the firm’s new technology strategy to offer an open, distributed, platform-independent architecture that is able to scale and transform in conjunction with an investment manager’s evolving business model.

Charles River IMS v7.2 continues the phased evolution of the product’s technology platform with the delivery of a new Java-based compliance engine, Web-based reporting tools, an XML/XSL Trade Gateway, middle-tier business logic components in Java/J2EE, and additional Messaging and Web Services APIs for systems integration. In addition, the release incorporates numerous functional upgrades including enhanced capabilities for portfolio modeling, mortgage trading and TBA processing (including EPN connectivity), FIX-based algorithmic trading, FIX-based fixed income allocations, and support for ISO15022 standards.

"The release of Version 7.2 is a major accomplishment in Charles River IMS’ technology evolution," said Peter Lambertus, president and CEO at Charles River. "We’ve successfully converted our major system components and processes to new Java technology without requiring our clients to re-implement or make changes to their current technology or workflow. The new technology is deliverable today and a number of clients are already experiencing the benefits - particularly from the new compliance engine’s significant speed improvements and the extensive integration capabilities via our Messaging and Web Service APIs."

"What remains is to complete the migration of our GUI to Microsoft C# .NET," he added. "We are maintaining a similar, yet enhanced, look and feel so there is no need for user retraining."

Unveiled in November 2003, Charles River’s technology vision outlines a phased migration of Charles River IMS to a distributed, service-based architecture encompassing best-of-breed technologies such as Java, J2EE, Microsoft .NET, and Web Services. The result is a comprehensive investment management platform that offers superior performance, a wide variety of deployment options, unmatched flexibility and functionality, and maximum scalability regardless of long-term technology-trends.

Merrill Lynch, a client since 2000, uses Charles River Compliance to trade and monitor assets across all product areas. The firm realized "a three to four times performance improvement" in batch compliance runs during Beta testing of the new Java-based compliance engine, according to Jim Quigley, vice president at Merrill Lynch. "The processing improvement varies with each business unit due to the number of accounts and rules, but the runtime is substantially better and consistent across the board," he said. Merrill Lynch plans to upgrade to Charles River IMS Version 7.2 later this year.

Charles River IMS provides a comprehensive STP tool kit, which includes Omgeo CTM and OASYS integration and support for ISO 15022 and FIX allocations. Vontobel Asset Management, Inc, a current Charles River client and OASYS user, is looking forward to taking advantage of Charles River’s new settlement capabilities. "We appreciate that Charles River can already support the ISO 15022 standard as it moves high risk back-office processes to the front office to facilitate true STP," said Edgar Ruffin, head of operations and information technology at Vontobel. "Charles River IMS allows us minimize the risk involved in settling cross border trades. We are able to integrate with our clients, custodians, and vendors to achieve an automated pre-match between the custodian and the broker to ensure a timely settlement. Furthermore, Charles River IMS will automatically pass our trades, including all settlement instructions, to OASYS and Omgeo CTM. This eliminates the bottleneck often created on the custodial side from sorting out emails and faxes."

Version 7.2 Major Components:

Charles River IMS v7.2 continues the migration of middle tier services to Java and introduces new features to maximize system performance, streamline integration, and enhance user functionality:

- Java Compliance Engine – Charles River Compliance’s new Java-based processing engine is 100% backwards compatible with previous versions; for the 114 investment institutions already using Charles River Compliance, an upgrade does not require new project implementation or modifications to existing compliance rule setup.

"Like its predecessor, the new engine can support a 24x7, global, high volume environment," said Arnold Wachs, product manager at Charles River. "In addition, it performs three to ten times faster depending upon environment and is able to process hundreds of trades or positions per second."

- Java Portfolio-level Processes – Common batch or portfolio-level processes (including bond recalculations and maturations, bank balances and corporate action processes, day order retirement, positions re-pricing, commission target updates, and others) now run in Java; this improves processing times and reliability and allows the processes to run on any operating system.

Other service components migrated to Java include an Electronic Pool Notification (EPN) Gateway for mortgage trading operations, a portfolio modeling application with a back-end in Java Web Services, and a Java Management Extensions (JMX) based tool for system monitoring.

- Crystal Decisions Web Reporting tools – Compliance and other reports are available in a new Crystal-based browser-reporting platform that integrates with Charles River’s Java and Web Services framework. These reports can be deployed within or independent of the desktop application. Use of Crystal allows for quick and simple client customization and deployment.

- Java Trade Gateway – Utilizing a combination of XML and XSL processing technology, Charles River’s new Java Trade Gateway is highly customizable and offers enhanced performance and features for exporting trade and security data from Charles River IMS, including full messaging support, and is fully backward compatible so clients do not have to modify their interfaces. Clients can use the Trade Gateway to notify custodians, accounting systems, counterparties, and data warehouses that a trade has occurred and/or to invoke settlement processing. The Java Trade Gateway supports integration with settlement venues including Omgeo CTM and includes support for ISO15022 standards.

- Functional Enhancements for Users – Charles River IMS Version 7.2 completes the evolution of major system components to the new technology and delivers over 120 functional enhancements including: a new module for mortgage trading and TBA processing; major improvements to portfolio modeling capabilities; support for Kanji characters; capabilities for FIX-based fixed income allocations and algorithmic trading; and a new modern appearance throughout the application with the addition of new fonts and graphics.