SunGard announced today that Chicago-based online brokerage firm optionsXpress Holdings, (NASDAQ:OXPS) has completed its implementation of SunGard's Phase3 multi-asset, multi-currency securities processing solution, in connection with the firm's conversion to self-clearing all of its customer trades.
The first stage of optionsXpress' Phase3 conversion took place in September 2006, with the second and final stage of implementation completed in December, which converted the remainder of optionsXpress accounts from its former clearer onto Phase3. optionsXpress now processes equities, options, mutual funds and fixed income securities on the one Phase3 consolidated processing platform.
"Phase3 provides the real-time processing we require for our browser-based online brokerage application, while also supporting our volume growth," said David Fisher, chief financial officer at optionsXpress.
optionsXpress anticipates that the move to Phase3 will bring cost savings and, more importantly, greater flexibility and control over its service to customers, helping the firm to respond more quickly to inquiries on accounts, trades and balances, for example. In addition, as a technology-driven organization, optionsXpress needed a back office that would support its growth, and a suite of tools that could provide it with easy integration with its existing systems.
"Customers today are looking for the best overall experience, and this includes selecting a brokerage that combines outstanding customer service, innovative tools and a broad range of offerings," said David Kalt, chief executive officer of optionsXpress.
Last year, optionsXpress was rated "Best Online Broker" by Barron's (March 6, 2006) for the fourth year running, and was named "Best Online Broker" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance (July 2006).
In addition to Phase3, optionsXpress is using SunGard's Margin Advisor, Phase3 Replication Services, and Phase3 Hot Site Recovery services. The firm uses Margin Advisor for intraday and end of day margin calculations for both options and equities, and Replication Services for real-time data downloads to its own servers for custom reporting and distribution to other applications. optionsXpress also uses Hot Site Recovery to help provide business continuity and data rececovery from the point of failure in the event of a disaster causing service interruption.
Gerard Murphy, president of SunGard's Phase3 business unit, said: "With the alternatives available for back-office processing, we are pleased that optionsXpress chose Phase3 to process its multiple lines of business on a single platform. Phase3's high volume throughput and consolidated processing embedded with real-time data replication will help optionsXpress to support and grow its multi-asset processing environment, provide the latest tools to its clients, and grow its business in the U.S. and abroad while helping reduce operating costs. We remain committed to providing the securities industry with sell-side solutions to help meet the increasing demand for multi-asset, consolidated and high-volume processing."