|OCTOBER 27, 1999|
|The BRUT ECN Signs Letter of Intent With Strike Technologies|
Agreement Creates Number Three ECN, Brings Together Wall Street's Top Firms
and Builds Company's Leadership Among Broker-Dealers
NEW YORK, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The BRASS Utility, L.L.C. (BRUT), a subsidiary of SunGard Data Systems Inc. (NYSE: SDS) and a leading electronic communications network (ECN), announced today that it has signed a letter of intent to merge with Strike Technologies, LLC, a competing ECN. The merger will create the third largest ECN in terms of volume. The agreement brings together Wall Street's top trading firms into one ECN. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Knight-Trimark Group (Nasdaq: NITE), Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (NYSE: MWD) are all equity partners in BRUT.
Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC), Bridge Trading Company, Herzog Heine Geduld, Inc., Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) and Salomon Smith Barney (NYSE: C) are a few of the current equity holders in Strike.
As part of the merger, the Strike equity partners will have 50 percent ownership and the BRUT partners will have 50 percent ownership. Strike, which began operations in November 1998 and currently handles volume of approximately 22 million shares a day, has a total of 26 broker-dealer equity partners. BRUT, which began operations in May of 1998, currently handles volume of over 58 million shares per day. Both BRUT and Strike have seen their volume double in recent months.
Robert Greifeld, group CEO, SunGard Brokerage Systems Group
"Today's agreement is just another example of BRUT's leadership in the ECN
sector. The Company's dramatic growth, which has seen trading volume rise
from 14 million to 58 million shares per day in the past four months, will
be further enhanced by the Strike merger. The deal will also provide us
with additional opportunities to leverage synergies between BRUT and
SunGard's other financial service and software subsidiaries."
Matthew De Salvo, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
"This agreement brings together the Street's biggest names and makes BRUT
a major force in the ECN market. We were pleased in helping to consummate
the deal. We are particularly excited about BRUT's UMA system, especially
with its direct access to the Nasdaq market and multi-functional trading
capabilities, and look forward to working with BRUT to expand the reach of
this dynamic market access system."
Ken Pasternak, Chief Executive Officer, Knight/Trimark Group
"We believe that a consolidation of the nine ECNs will ultimately benefit
investors seeking to execute limit orders. By combining BRUT's low cost
pricing and rebate model with Strike's expanded customer base and
distribution, BRUT is well positioned to create positive execution
results for active traders, institutions and broker/dealers."
Bobby Moore, Managing Director, Salomon Smith Barney
"The combination of BRUT and Strike creates a major force among ECNs and
is a real breakthrough for the financial markets. It will result in
increased liquidity and provide significant benefits for the firms
involved and more importantly our clients."
Buzzy Geduld, President and CEO, Herzog Heine Geduld, Inc.
"I am very excited to bring together two very successful ECNs that could
have made it on their own, this is a 1+1=5 scenario. I am confident that
our broad base of partners will come up with more sophisticated solutions
to assist the broker/dealer and institutional community."
The BRASS Utility, L.L.C. (BRUT), headquartered in New York City, is a leading electronic communications network (ECN) and one of nine ECNs approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission to act as an order display alternative.
BRUT is majority owned by Automated Securities Clearance Ltd. (ASC). ASC operates BRASS (Brokerage Real-Time Application Support System) which provides the Nasdaq trader everything he or she needs to operate electronically. BRASS is the industry standard, serving over 3000 desktop terminals in roughly 200 brokerage firms representing over 50 percent of Nasdaq volume. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Knight/Trimark Group (Nasdaq: NITE), Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (NYSE: MWD) maintain minority equity interests in the BRUT ECN.
BRUT and ASC are operating units of SunGard Data Systems Inc., the only large specialized provider of proprietary investment support systems and the pioneer and a leading provider of comprehensive computer disaster recovery services. SunGard's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SDS.
Strike Technologies LLC was developed to meet the needs of the trading community and is backed by a consortium of 24 Wall Street and technology firms. Predicated on traders' needs for a reasonably priced trading tool that uses the most advanced technology, the system features a fast, cost-efficient way to trade anonymously via a Central Order Display. The consortium's significant percentage of Nasdaq's trading volume, combined with Strike's expanded customer base and distribution, assure substantial order flow and access to liquidity. The technology, including a SelectNet reach-out interface, is written in JAVA and considered state-of-the-art. Use of the system requires no hardware purchase and no software installation. Nor is there a fee for use of the system unless and until a trade is executed. Current users include major broker-dealers, market makers and institutions. Founded in 1998, Strike Technologies is headquartered in New York City; more information on the company is available at http://www.strk.com.
SOURCE BRASS Utility, L.L.C.