corporations, and fund managers can execute capital market trades.
Though big banks for years have used the Internet to interact with their clients, independent initiatives aimed at corralling a community of capital markets interests have not yielded any big success story.
Integral Development Corp., a Palo Alto, Calif., developer of Web-based trading and risk management software, plans this month to roll out an Internet site called CFOweb.com. There, treasury managers at corporations, hedge fund managers, and others would be able to trade various financial instruments with banks and other institutions.
Next quarter, Creditex Inc., which was formed by two former Deutsche Bank employees, expects to let dealers such as banks use the Internet to make trades and exchange information in the young but growing credit derivatives market.
Credit Suisse First Boston, Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, and ABN Amro have endorsed Integral's CFOweb.com. Investors in Creditex include Deutsche Bank, Bank of Montreal, J.P. Morgan & Co., and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.
"The Internet is a great forum for a trading exchange," said Ron Tanemura, head of Deutsche Bank's global credit derivatives business.
It is a cost-effective way to reach the most eyeballs and anonymously achieve price transparency, he said.
Harpal S. Sandhu, chief executive officer of Integral, said CFOweb.com's status as an independent third party puts it in a position to provide a service that benefits the entire market. A bank or group of banks running such a site might put their interests first, he said.
Sunil Hirani, a founder of Creditex, said, "It is crucial that we be a third-party independent platform."
That was one reason he and his partner, John McEvoy, left Deutsche Bank.
"It has to be a third-party platform because you want everybody involved," Mr. Tanemura said.
Mr. Sandhu said CFOweb.com would let treasury departments that don't have the resources to develop trading systems participate in markets for interest rate, foreign exchange, loan, deposit, and cash instruments.
The Web site would be free to corporate treasury management departments and hedge funds that cannot afford to spend $2 million to $5 million to build or buy the Internet technology.
A standard Internet browser would be these users' point of entry to CFOweb.com, where they could view their portfolios, execute transactions, do risk analyses, and confirm trades. Integral would earn money by selling its software, CFOweb.com Connect, to banks that trade financial instruments with end-users.
Integral plans to bring in revenue through other services it will sell to banks, including help in building more sophisticated risk analysis models, processing trades, and achieving systems integration from the front to back offices, Mr. Sandhu said.
Until these services become available, the bulk of Integral's sales is expected to come from advertising and the nominal subscription and processing fees it will charge to banks for such services as electronic communication of trade orders.
Creditex's main mission is to be a meeting point for buyers and sellers of credit derivatives in a bid to become that market's "liquidity platform," Mr. Hirani said.
Societe Generale has signed on as one of three founding subscribers and has prepaid fees to trade over the Web site.
The other two subscribers were unwilling to be named. Such transaction fees will be Creditex's main source of revenue initially, Mr. Hirani said.
J.P. Morgan is supporting Creditex because it would bring pricing transparency, liquidity, and documentation standards to the market, said Blythe Masters, global head of credit derivatives marketing at the banking company.
J.P. Morgan considers credit derivatives trading integral to helping it reduce credit risk, she said.
Partly through the use of credit derivatives, it was able to announce in its third-quarter earnings statement that it had achieved a permanent reduction in the amount of equity capital required to support its credit business and as a result would buy back $3 billion of its stock. Morgan also structures credit derivatives for clients and makes a market for them, Ms. Masters said.
The company said it is not afraid of lower price margins from increased market liquidity. It still would benefit from the efficiency and higher volumes generated in a liquid market, Ms. Masters said, and would market its expertise in creating highly structured credit derivatives products.
Deutsche Bank's interest in Creditex stems from client requests for greater price transparency, Mr. Tanemura said. Creditex would deliver this by posting bids and offers for credit derivatives on the site.
"We have one of the largest commitments to credit derivatives on the Street -- 55 traders in six regions -- and want to take an early leadership role in the market's evolution," Mr. Tanemura said.
Creditex software called Tradetracker would match buyers and sellers of credit derivatives anonymously until terms of a deal are agreed upon.
The system would ensure that financial institutions, which would gain access to the site through Web browsers, are trading within limits and with their approved list of counterparties.