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JWG-IT signs first wave of Founder Members and celebrates 500 hours of firm-led workshops on MiFID

London – 13 June 2006 - JWG-IT, the think tank for EU driven IT change in financial services, today announces the first wave of major technology suppliers to join JWG-IT as Founder Members. Intel, Kurtosys and GoldenGate have engaged with JWG-IT’s firm-led dialogue to discuss how they can deploy their technologies to solve the real business challenges which regulations such as MiFID have posed financial institutions.

JWG-IT has also secured commitment from major financial institutions who have seen the benefit of an independent forum to address the operational issues that are emerging from MiFID. Since its inception in January 2006, JWG-IT has facilitated over 500 hours of workshops with 50 participants from 12 top-tier investment banks. Members have logged over 100 implementation issues to date and have gone on to define practical solutions around common IT operating models on topics including transaction reporting, trade reporting and pre-trade price transparency.

JWG-IT was launched earlier this year by PJ Di Giammarino. Drawing on his prior experience as a COO of IT for Barclays Capital, and as Co-Chair of the MiFID Joint Working Group IT Subject Group, PJ established JWG-IT to fill the vacuum between policy debates on “What is MiFID?” and “How do we implement it?” JWG-IT offers its members expert workshops, online forums, analysis and news alerts, and is experiencing rapid growth with further members to be announced imminently.

“As the market’s understanding of MiFID matures the common denominator is that technology will be the enabler – in the search for best execution, support of new internalising market structures and enabling enhanced client reporting and hence the desired transparency,” said Nigel Woodward at Intel. “By supporting JWG-IT our objective is to debate with fellow technologists how best to align to respond to requirements which will challenge all aspects of our respective business. We applaud the innovation displayed in the think tank’s inception and look forward to it enabling effective buyer–supplier dialogue and responses in the coming months.”

Mash Patel, CEO of Kurtosys, says, “Whilst there has been a great deal of discussion concerning MiFID, many firms are only now beginning to gear up their action plans. JWG-IT presents one of the most comprehensive market offerings available to assist clients in executing these plans. Kurtosys’ solutions will leverage the insight from JWG-IT and allow clients to embrace MiFID as an opportunity to improve processes and create business value.”

“Through JWG-IT, GoldenGate will gain a deep understanding of the specific implementation challenges that our capital markets customers face so that we may help them meet MiFID requirements with proven, innovative solutions,” comments Andre Ros, GoldenGate’s Director of Business Development, EMEA.

In response to member demand, JWG-IT has also engaged the services of law firm CMS Cameron McKenna to offer generic opinion on topics highlighted by JWG-IT’s members, and today Simon Morris, head of Financial Services practice at CMS Cameron McKenna, comments: “We see this as an excellent way to confront the devil in the detail that all financial institutions face. There is no time left, firms must get on with their MiFID implementations.”

PJ Di Giammarino, founder and CEO of JWG-IT, today celebrates the early successes of JWG-IT. “Whilst the industry continues to debate MiFID policy, JWG-IT has been working with the firms affected by this all-encompassing regulation to discuss how they can practically implement MiFID better, faster, cheaper and with less risk.

“Resolution to MiFID operating model issues is needed as budgets are being finalized and implementation plans are being laid in advance of the 31st January transposition deadline across 25 member states and 3 EEA countries. European capital markets firms already spend more than €100 billion a year on their IT. Banks will continue to compete but in order to free up budget to invest in strategic programmes and keep fees down, costs must be reduced by collaborating around common IT operating models and sharing the burden in areas that have not been shared to date.”

The next MiFID workshops are in London: on 15 June the focus will be on pre and post trade transparency and on 23 June the first session on customer data and repapering will be launched. The web site is now live and available free of charge for all members of the financial community to register with and receive updates on topics across the trade lifecycle, organization and governance and implementation planning areas.