Merrill Lynch taps into VoIP

Global financial management and advisory company Merrill Lynch has installed VoIP in a number of sites throughout the Asia-Pacific region in an effort to make the "virtual trading team" concept a reality.

Justin Sifferman, vice president of network service development, Merrill Lynch PacRim, said the use of IP has made the virtual trading team concept a reality, and the enhanced functionality has enabled the company to take advantage of solutions that are "flexible, cost effective and easy to manage".

Merrill Lynch selected IPC, a provider of trading floor communications solutions for the global financial services industry, for the VoIP infrastructure. IPC has been deploying IP-based trading systems and network services for the past five years, and claims the technology provides benefits to trading floors around the world in terms of system resiliency, reduced infrastructure, resource sharing, and trader mobility.

The Merrill Lynch project follows IPC's announcement in January that with an installation at Wachovia Corporation in New York, it had notched up 30,000 VoIP trading positions.

IPC Asia Pacific managing director Stephen Phillips said IP enables traders to maximize resources through productivity, business continuity, compliance and cost efficiency.

"We were the first trading systems provider to develop and introduce VoIP to the trading floor in 2001, and today 90 percent of our new installs are IP," Phillips said. "The most recent count of our IP users stands at almost 40,000. These figures show that IP is a proven technology platform that has the full support of the financial services industry."

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