Penson Worldwide Launches Industry-First eTrading Solution Combining a Hosted OMS with Direct Market Access, Backed by Established Clearing, Settlement and Custody Service

Low-Cost Multi-Market, Multi-Exchange, Multi-Instrument from Single Front-End

London, 2 February 2004 - Penson Worldwide, a leading provider of clearing, custody, and settlement services in North America & Europe, today extended its European offering and launched an electronic execution service to meet the growing needs of its European broker/dealer and asset management client base. Penson’s ‘one-stop shop’ execution, clearing, custody and settlement service will support its clients’ trading activities via their own Exchange memberships and provide electronic direct market access trading of equities, derivatives and CFDs to all other European and North American markets. The addition of this low-cost, hosted Order Management Solution (OMS) and electronic Direct Market Access to Penson’s more traditional business areas of clearing, settlement and custody will provide UK, Irish and European broker/dealers and private client asset managers with an end-to-end e-trading solution.

Chris Gregory, Director of Execution Services, Penson Worldwide, comments: "2004 marks a new phase in Penson’s development as we expand our services to accomodate the front and middle office. We wanted to provide our global client base with a ’one stop shop’ trading solution that simplifies the processes within the increasingly sophisticated worlds of agency trading, as well as risk arbitrage, hedge fund and programme trading, and further improving Straight-Through Processing. Penson’s end-to-end eTrading platform will do just that."

The project, providing a multi-market, multi-instrument trading system, Exchange-hub connectivity and electronic Direct Market Access brokerage, all backed by Penson’s established comprehensive settlement, clearing and custody service covering all European Equities, Exchange-traded Derivatives, and CFD Swaps, is due for completion by the end of Q1 2004.
The Exchange-hub connectivity for Penson’s Execution Service is provided in partnership with RTS Realtime Systems.
The trading will be supported in two ways:
1. Exchange connectivity trading software enables clients to trade under their own membership against Exchanges and Retail Service Providers (RSPs)
2. Multi-market, multi-instrument, electronic Direct Market Access through Penson
The trading software is available in three levels:
1. Professional Level II client application, with full OMS, risk management and trading functionality, with hosted server architecture;
2. Browser-based version of the full trading functionality;
3. White labeled client order entry browser.

Penson’s International Execution Service, backed by a single, multi-asset clearing, settlement and margin account from Penson, will also deliver significant cost savings to its financial institution client base.

Gregory adds: "Financial institutions worldwide are increasingly experiencing hikes in the fixed costs of maintaining their own operational infrastructure. This factor, combined with growing regulatory compliance demands and the need to constantly evolve to maintain a competitive edge, has paved the way to an increase in demand for quality, dependable and low-cost outsourced alternatives. We are already seeing the demand for these services among our existing and prospective customer base and we now look forward to reaching out to the wider market."

Press Release Contact:
Julia Gregory / Katie Ainsworth
Tel: +44 (0)20 7734 9199

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