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June 30, 2002

Face to Face at Bear Stearns

By Peter Chapman

Video turrets? Traders at Bear Stearns will soon be able to use their turrets to see as well as talk to their colleagues in satellite offices. The gee-whiz technology is just one of many goodies traders got when they moved into their new headquarters in New York City.

Turrets are essentially sophisticated telephones used by traders to talk to co-workers and customers. But, in the last year, the top vendors, IPC and Syntegra, have moved to integrate video phone technology.

There are currently no screens on the IPC turrets at Bear Stearns. But there's space available and the brokerage expects to install them by the end of the year. "When they're in," said Aldo Parcesespe, head of Nasdaq trading at Bear Stearns, "our position traders will be able to talk to our sales traders in Los Angeles and Boston." The Bear's New York-based traders also got a number of other amenities when they moved to their spacious new digs on Madison Avenue last December. Instant messaging, CPU-free desk tops, 18-inch Eizo flat panels, heat transfer units, 50 internal and external TV channels, a wall-mounted video screen, a minimum of obtrusive columns, and better lighting, were all part of the package.

Equity traders and their assistants took two floors in the new building, occupying 500 of 700 available desks. Parcesepe and his crew take up a quarter of the fifth floor. They share it with the listed, arbitrage and international desks, as well as research sales. The fourth floor houses the convertible, portfolio and derivatives desks.