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LOS Altos, California-based Renaissance Software has announced the commercial release of Opus version 5.3, the newest version of its risk management and derivatives processing application.

Opus 5.3's enhancements include value-at-risk (VAR) calculation modules, based on JP Morgan's Riskmetrics parametric VAR methodology.

It also includes enhanced support for foreign exchange spot/forward trades and forex options, say Renaissance officials.

David Webber, senior financial engineer at the vendor, says the new version of Opus is currently in use at two Renaissance customer sites. One of these customers is a bank and the other is a corporate institution, he adds.

Both Webber and Rick McCarthy, Renaissance's recently appointed director of global sales and marketing, decline to name the two clients in question.

However, they do say the development effort involved both of the customer sites and took around six months to complete.

McCarthy explains that the development work involved in the new version of Opus was undertaken almost entirely by Renaissance's own software and financial engineering staff, working according to market standards and client specifications.

Opus, which is based on Sun Microsystems hardware and Unix client/server technology, is billed as a complete front-to-back office solution for derivatives trading operations.

"Traders structure and execute the applications that flow seamlessly through the middle office to the back office for processing," says Webber. "Opus also has interfacing capabilities with external systems."

Webber adds that Renaissance has wanted to widen Opus' product coverage for some time. The development effort for the new version began shortly after the two new clients had expressed interest in adding the new capabilities to Opus.

Renaissance Software was founded in 1989 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pennsylvania-based computer giant Sungard Data Systems.

The new version of Opus comes about a year since Renaissance's last major release, version 5.0 (Derivatives Engineering & Technology, April 3, 1995).

Sources add that the vendor has recently signed on two European banks as new customers: Banco Santander and Creditanstalt Bankverein.

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