WSJ.com - Computer Glitches Stall Wachovia Brokers "Wall Street kicked into high gear for fall after Labor Day last week. But thousands of brokers at Wachovia Securities LLC -- and their customers -- were stalled.
The problem: glitches as the brokerage firm's computers went haywire just as Wachovia Corp.'s Wachovia Securities and the former Prudential Securities, which merged their stock brokerages last year, for the first time started using a single technology system, people familiar with the matter say.
At 10:15 a.m. EST Tuesday, about 5,000 brokers, sales assistants and other employees, or about a third of the Wachovia operation, were blocked from logging on to their computers. As the week wore on, the technology breakdowns escalated, with many frustrated brokers unable to view clients' accounts, place trades or wire funds from their computers without using a backup system.
Wachovia had selected the Thomson Financial unit of Thomson Corp. to develop a new technology platform for Wachovia and Prudential brokers. In a February news release, Paul Costello, president of the Business Services Group of Wachovia Securities, said the platform should enable "a seamless integration" of the brokerage systems.
Yesterday Audrey Allopenna, executive vice president, integration partnerships for Thomson Financial, said that the problems brokers may have had last week with computer access didn't stem from the desktop platform that Thomson created. "From a Thomson standpoint, we have successfully delivered, in partnership with Wachovia, an integrated desktop to their financial advisers, which has been up and running since January," she said. "It continues to run successfully and effectively today."