Launches Enhanced Version of Broker Voting Platform, MeritMark

30 January 2009, a leading provider of research and estimates services to the buy-side, today announced several upgrades to MeritMark, the fullservice broker vote system the Company introduced earlier this year. MeritMark is the only broker evaluation program designed by and for institutional investors and sponsored by a consortium of brokers. The MeritMark sell-side community currently includes 12 leading brokers.

MeritMark was designed to streamline the buy-side’s process of broker benchmarking, by collecting and distributing broker evaluations in a standardized format. The platform enables buy-side participants to complete one evaluation to provide feedback to multiple sell-side firms on broker services and research and sales personnel. MeritMark executives at reported that the enhanced platform expands functionality to address feedback collected over the past months from buy-side users.

New features available on MeritMark include:

• Ability to evaluate research and institutional sales personnel across any brokerage firm or independent research provider

• Full-service support featuring customized rollouts tailored to each client

• Over 10,000 sell-side individuals and nearly 600 broker firms pre-loaded into the system, with the ability to add additional names on the fly

• Ability to evaluate brokers on a comprehensive set of services, including research, sales, corporate access, and trading

• Customized broker reports providing a complete view of the buy-side firm’s feedback across a broker’s services

• Archiving capabilities to store previous evaluations by individual and firm MeritMark is available free to the buy-side through the sponsorship of and the broker community members.

“This version of MeritMark directly responds to the feedback we’ve collected over the past months, by adding more of the workflow-specific evaluation tools that investors told us were important to them in a broker evaluation,” said Bryan Lewis, General Manager. “But the key benefits of MeritMark remain the same. Our web-based platform can be used across offices and continents, with no hardware to install and no consulting fees—making it a straightforward answer to the needs of the buy-side in delivering feedback to their partners on the sell-side. At this time of year, as our clients are conducting their year-end reviews, MeritMark’s simple rollout and full-service support are particularly beneficial in streamlining clients’ evaluations.”

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