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UBS makes access to research really simple

Swiss banking giant UBS has taken a leaf from the news business and is offering access to its equity research through Really Simple Syndication, a text-based XML format.

Swiss banking giant UBS has taken a leaf from the news business and is offering access to its equity research through Really Simple Syndication, a text-based XML format. Tim Baker, chief technology officer for equity research at UBS in New York, says the main advantage of RSS is that it gives clients -- who can download free RSS readers such as NewsGator and RSS Bandit -- aggregate news-flow capabilities on their desktops without having to use a third party or to log on to the UBS Web site. Baker notes that a study conducted by the bank found that RSS can cut clients' research time by about 50 percent.

One early user, Antonin Jullier, who heads trading at Gandhara Advisors Europe in London, says the service is "the one centralized point where I can get a lot of the information I need every day." Jullier says that although he receives news from sources such as the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal using RSS, the UBS product is the only bank research he receives that way.

Baker says that setting up the RSS protocol, which was implemented by the UBS information technology department for less than $50,000, was facilitated by the sophisticated tagging system the research department has in place. The service has the potential to serve the almost 40,000 clients who subscribe to UBS equity research and may be extended to fixed-income research offerings in the future. Baker expects other banks to implement the functionality; "this way, we will compete based on our research footprint."

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