Hedge fund managers are major beneficiaries of recent technological innovation at Fidelity Institutional, says Ronald DePoalo, chief information officer of the Fidelity Investments unit that offers capital markets, clearing, institutional asset management and family-office services. The developments center on PB Optimize, which was introduced in 2012 to give our hedge fund clients transparency across their prime brokers, says DePoalo, 51, who was Merrill Lynch & Co.s CTO for global wealth management before joining Boston-based Fidelity in 2008. PB Optimize, used by more than 100 of Fidelitys hedge fund clients, has really taken off, he says. Weve added a corporate action capability thats really important for hedge funds in securities lending in terms of the economics of how theyre borrowing. Weve added rates to the intraday platform as well, so they can take a look at the lending rates during the day rather than relying on overnight data. The job is a dream come true for DePoalo, who is the son of Salomon Brothers CIO Phillip DePoalo and says he fell in love with financial technology in my high school years. After graduating from Ramapo College in New Jersey, he entered a Merrill Lynch training program in 1986 and stayed at the firm for 22 years, earning a St. Peters University MBA along the way. Also new at Fidelity Institutional are EX-RAY, an online best-execution tool for equity traders that a few asset management firms have tested, and RUBRIC, a fixed-income analytics and automation platform currently used by internal teams. Both will be released to wider audiences this year. The tools that were building provide openness and transparency, the CIO asserts. A lot of people talk about transparency, but not all the claims are the same.
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