To upgrade its trading room capabilities, Newark, N.J.-based First Fidelity Bancorp. is installing software developed by Frustum Group, a New York software and consulting firm.

Sophisticated Tools

The software, called Operation Processing Integrated Control System, automates the back and front ends of the processing cycle for Treasury and capital markets products. This includes deal entry and verification as well as payment instructions, confirmations, and account postings.

The Frustum software also offers a real-time "what if" profitability analysis and credit-exposure component said to give senior management sophisticated risk analysis tools. By running the software on a Windows platform with a structured query language data base, users can retrieve customer and trading information.

The $34 billion-asset First Fidelity will use the software for foreign exchange and trading room processing. The initial components of the system are expected to be running by the end of June.

First Fidelity currently runs its trading operations on a mainframe system. John H. Koopman, First Fidelity vice president in Group Treasury, said one limitations of a mainframe system was that it often took as long as six months to introduce new products. He said that with the Frustum system, that time will be reduced by a third.

Reducing Paperwork

The Frustum system will also help First Fidelity move into a paperless trading environment.

"The mainframe generated reports whether we wanted them or not, because the commands were 'baked' into the programming code," said Mr. Koopman. "With the Frustum system, we can select what reports we want. We can print them or simply view them on-line."

The security features of the Operation Processing Integrated Control System can define what kind of trades individuals may make and set their trading thresholds.

Ms. Sullivan is a freelance writer based in New York.

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