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Monday, August 19, 2002

Safeco Signs Up

by: Tony Pennino

August seems to be high tech month as more and more firms are upgrading their administrative systems. The latest firm to take such a step is Redmond, Washington-based Safeco Mutual Funds, which has selected FT Interactive Data for its Fair Value Evaluation System. The system is designed to allow financial services firms to meet the SEC's fair value guidance.

"FT Interactive Data's Fair Value Service gives us the ability to fair value equities in all Pacific and European time zones during times of significant market volatility," explained Dave Longhurst, vice president and controller of Safeco Mutual Funds, "As a result, we are preserving the integrity of our mutual funds, and protecting the long-term investor from the harmful impact of market timers."

The Fair Value Evaluation Service has been designed to create a price adjustment factor to be applied to the local market closing price of an equity, and a confidence interval, which assists portfolio managers in deciding whether or not to apply the fair value evaluation for a given security. The system also utilizes an SEC suggested "bottom-up" methodology, which provides a valuation for each security in a portfolio rather than applying broad changes across sectors, countries or portfolios alone.

FT contends that seven other firms have approved the software for use and another 25 are currently examining the platform. 

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