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In this contributed piece, TIM noted that some traders do better than others when using data that has been run through certain analysis - that is, have used some form of machine learning to assist them.

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April 30, 1999

Salomon Smith Barney Tops Reuters Survey

By Michael L. O'Reilly

Best Execution Quality, Nasdaq TradingIn a new Reuters Group survey, Salomon Smith Barney was ranked by small and mid-sized U.S. fund managers as the top domestic securities firm for equity trade-execution quality and overall Nasdaq trading capability.

The brokerage industry giant was also ranked by buy-side trading desks as offering the best sales traders, the most consistent executions, the best market-making capability, the most frequent price improvements and updates on orders, and the best ability to execute large program trades.

Reuters Group, in conjunction with New York's Tempest Consultants, polled 1,027 small to mid-sized U.S. companies with a combined 1998 equity market value of $846 billion. In ranking trading and execution, Reuters Group focused questions on buy-side traders and portfolio managers at the companies surveyed.

Some buy-side traders concurred with the Reuters Group assessment of Salomon Smith Barney.

George Bodine, director of trading at General Motors Investment Management Corp. in New York, said he rates Salomon Smith Barney's packaged and program-trading business very highly.

"They have very competitive commission rates, and they manage packaged trades very effectively," he said. "They are also strong with the data and analytics they provide."

Stephen O'Neil, head equity trader at Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management in New York, regularly trades with Salomon Smith Barney. He feels the firm has particular strength on the over-the-counter side of the business. "That's been a strength for a while," he said.

Salomon Smith Barney was also voted among the top three firms in day-to-day capital commitment, communication of trading intelligence, settlement and backoffice efficiency, and market knowledge.

Goldman, Sachs & Co., Merrill Lynch & Co., Jefferies & Company and Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter & Co. rounded-out the top five in trade-execution quality, respectively.