Treasury Resources Consulting and Investigating believes it can help bridge the communication gap that separates many trading desks from their back offices.

The firm is offering a three-day seminar called "Trading for Non- Traders," which provides participants with an explanation of trading- related risk taking and risk management issues.

The seminar comes in response to a recent trend toward reductions in bank trading support staff and training budgets.

Such moves make little sense, given the volatility in the markets, the increasing complexity of financial instruments, and the wave of trading trouble over the last year, according to Ken Jingozian, chief operating officer of TRCI.

"Bank trading support systems have improved over the past several years, but the knowledge about trading and financial instruments on the part of people who support the activities have not kept pace," he said.

"What our seminar communicates is the risk management issues necessary for these individuals to perform one of the most important of their many functions of serving as the first line of defense for inappropriate activities."

Mr. Jingozian said that, although he has not thoroughly examined the collapse of Barings PLC, it would be extraordinary for something like that to have happened without some weakness in the trading support areas.

"This seminar demonstrates that there are a host of risks that come along with operating a trading unit that can be every bit as potent as market risk," said Tim Scala, president and chief executive officer of TRCI.

"It's easy to be less than vigilant about sound risk assessment and risk management policies when profits are mounting. But as the financial climate becomes more volatile, it becomes quite clear that trading, management, and support units must be in synch to avoid problems."

Dan Taylor, president of the U.S. Council on International Banking, said the seminar serves to educate bankers who otherwise would never set foot in a trading environment.

"The seminar is a program for people who have little or no idea what happens on the trading floor but want to learn about the business," he said. "It allows people to get into the thick of things through trading simulation and teaches them first-hand how everything works."

Vince Larkin, international banking officer at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group LTD in New York, said the seminar provides a unique window into how options, foreign exchange instruments, and interest rate swaps are traded.

"They cover the basic core factors of the markets and provide the information in an easily understandable format," he said. "The seminar takes away a lot of the certainty that surrounds the deals and transactions and puts everything in perspective."

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