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Primeon Helps Securities Firms Meet Decimal Pricing Conversion Deadline Through Launch of New Application Re-engineering Service.

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 20, 1999--

Decimalization Service Offers Unmatched Accuracy and

Reliability In Conversion of Complex IT Architectures

Recognizing that the June 2000 deadline for industry-wide decimal trading conversion is fast approaching, Primeon Inc., a leading IT solutions provider to large enterprises, today announced its new Decimalization Conversion Service. The service, a new member of Primeon's Application Re-engineering Services Practice, is specifically designed to convert software infrastructures of securities firms so that they can accommodate the new price formats and messaging volume associated with decimal pricing without sacrificing functionality or experiencing significant downtime.

Decimalization is the process of converting prices of stocks and options to decimal representation. Like Y2K remediation, decimalization is a simple concept, but will be complex in practice, especially since many of the decimalization-relevant data fields will be found in mission-critical systems. Current assumptions are that the Securities Industry Association (SIA), working with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), will phase-in standards for decimalized trading over time, initially including only exchange-traded equities and options on equities. Plans for phased-in conversion will greatly increase complexity, since firms will have to maintain both decimalized and fractional pricing during the conversion period and have the capability to switch individual securities from one representation to the other.

"Securities firms learned from Y2K that no matter how simple a mass conversion process seems on the surface, actual execution can be extremely challenging," said Leon Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of Primeon, Inc. "Our experience in application reengineering and asset management for the highly complex client/server architectures so common in the financial industries makes us uniquely qualified to address the challenges of decimalization conversion. To meet the aggressive deadlines imposed by the SIA, securities firms will have to engage experienced resources sooner rather than later."

While decimalization will affect a much smaller number of fields than Y2K, almost all of the fields will be mission-critical. For many firms, straightforward field expansion to accommodate both decimals and fractions will be impractical. Field expansion requires that all programs referencing the expanded field be changed and put into production at the same time, consistently across the enterprise. Trouble-free Y2K conversions in large systems typically kept field expansion to a minimum. Therefore, a successful decimalization process must identify all relevant fields, eliminate all false positives, minimize field expansion and permit free switching between decimals and fractions.

"Primeon's vast experience with large code-base maintenance and repair ant Primeon. "Applying this expertise to the deci in fractions, such as 1/8 or 1/16 of a dollar. Starting next year, pricing will be in a decimal format with price increments of two decimal places, such as $0.05 or $0.01. This change will require a new data format and will lead to increased trading volumes, due to a decrease in the minimum price variation (MPV) at which securities will be traded. If investors and order submitters change their trading strategies to take advantage of a decreased MPV, certain message typers a range of decimalization services including s rapid and repeatable design, delivery and implerm, revenue generating development efforts.

Primeon is uniquely qualified to offer high quality applicy an elite corp of computer scientists with engineering experience to support more than 70 development languages and platforms - one of the broadest ranges of competence in the industry.

About Primeon, Inc.

Primeon is a leading IT solutions provider to large enterprises worldwide. Primeon focuses on providing Year 2000 Compliance Services, Application Re-engineering Services and Enterprise IT Infrastructure Services to customers in a wide range of industries and government agencies. Based in Burlington, Massachusetts, the company leverages years of experience in developing conversion solutions and an elite programming team to deliver the most rapid and reliable services available. Primeon has proven the efficiency and accuracy of its services in large scale engagements for some of the world's leading companies.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 20, 1999
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