SOURCE: Information Builders

September 15, 2008 08:57 ET

First Rate Makes Competitive Leap Offering Customers Innovative Business Intelligence Technology From Information Builders

New Portfolio Tracking and Reporting Solutions Deliver a Competitive Edge to Financial Services Companies -- and Its Investors

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 15, 2008) - First Rate, a provider of investment portfolio performance solutions for leading financial institutions, needed to process a high volume of portfolios in a short period of time and keep customers abreast of market changes via a self-service reporting environment. As an independent leader in both operational business intelligence (BI) systems and integration, Information Builders and its iWay Software division were the perfect choice to provide the right technology solutions required. First Rate can now offer interactive, online analysis capabilities so customers can more easily track their investments. Simplifying critical analysis and reporting tasks help First Rate reduce costs, build loyalty, and retain its blue-chip customers.

Arlington, Texas-based First Rate has captured the portfolio analysis and performance measurement business of more than 200 institutions worldwide, including many of the largest financial institutions in the United States. Eighteen of the top 100 U.S. domestic banks use its platform along with more than 100 broker-dealers. These firms use First Rate's products to capture minute details about the performance of thousands of portfolios and deliver this information efficiently in a customized format to investors. With the capabilities provided by WebFOCUS and iWay Software, reports are automatically delivered to users in the form they have requested -- from routine batch reports to boardroom-quality presentations.

While all financial service companies provide monthly account statements and trade confirmations to its customers, First Rate helps these companies go a step further by offering interactive performance-analysis solutions that calculate rates of return and demonstrate the value of each client's investments. Information Builders helps First Rate communicate this important information with an end-to-end solution that includes back-end data access, middle-tier analysis, and front-end reporting and presentation.

"What makes our company unique is its business intelligence and information delivery capabilities," said Terry Gaines, managing director of the Products Group at First Rate. "We add significant value with our Web-based reporting and drill-down capabilities, plus our ability to integrate our application suite with almost any database or computing platform. Information Builders technology makes these aspects of our solution possible."

According to Mr. Gaines, iWay integration technology helps First Rate process a high volume of portfolios in a short period of time -- currently about 2.5 million portfolios per hour. "The scalability inherent in Information Builders products is important due to our escalating volume of data," he said. "iWay gives us the throughput we need to analyze returns in more than one currency, offer calculations on a daily, monthly, or point-to-point manner, and comply with the recommended calculation practices of Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS 2010). Information Builders helps us meet our service-level agreements without significant investments in hardware. Keeping costs down means we can offer better services to clients."

"Investment advisors who can keep their customers abreast of market changes in a clear, concise fashion stand out in this competitive market," said Gerald Cohen, president and CEO of Information Builders. "First Rate is using BI and integration technology to supply its customers with in-depth analysis based on dynamic, up-to-date information. It's a winning formula -- for financial services companies and the investors they serve."

About First Rate

First Rate is the developer and provider of portfolio analysis and performance measurement software for many of the largest financial institutions in the United States. Launched in 1991, the privately held, Texas-based firm has a staff with extensive experience in the investment performance-measurement industry. The First Rate Performance suite of applications provides complete Web-based portfolio tracking and reporting solutions specific to the needs and workflow of institutions with large numbers of individual client portfolios.

About Information Builders

As a leading independent business intelligence (BI) company for the past 30 years, Information Builders has provided innovative solutions to more than 12,000 customers, including most of the Fortune 100 and numerous U.S. federal government agencies. The company's flagship WebFOCUS product is the world's most widely used BI platform. Superior architecture and intuitive nature enables WebFOCUS to address the needs of everyone in the extended global enterprise -- executive, analytical, operational, and beyond. It provides the agility to adapt to changing business conditions with the security, scalability, and flexibility to support dozens to millions of users.

Unique to the company is the integration expertise it brings to the BI market. Information Builders iWay Software suite solves complex integration problems with pre-built components that require minimal custom programming. The award-winning combination of WebFOCUS and iWay give Information Builders customers the ability to embrace the company motto: "Everyone Makes Decisions."

Information Builders is committed to customer service excellence with a Professional Services division that specializes in building custom applications using WebFOCUS and iWay Software. Headquartered in New York City with 90 offices worldwide, the company employs 1,450 people and has more than 350 business partners. Visit informationbuilders.com.

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