Thursday, January 2, 2020
Just this week I had to do a paper for a Pace University class I'm taking on one of the historical events that really had an impact on history. The paper had to be somewhat extensive and I thought "Woe Is Me!". Low and behold after conducting a search, I found a website the zeroed in on the Top Ten Historical Events at
Seeing how I love Information Technology, my eyes immediately zeroed in on number 9, The Dawning Of The Information Age.
This was in my opinion a "loaded" topic as there are so many aspects and I had to think of what could I zero in on. I decided to zero in on flow of digital information exchange as I saw it as well as played a role in the early 1990's. Similar to an article I did recently and posted on my Blog, which reflected on my Andrew Jackson High School years, while working on Wall Street in the 1980's, once again to some what you are about to read may seem unclear in terms of trying to get a picture of what was going on, to others it may seem a little clear and yet to others it will be crystal clear. Here's just a little portion of the paper I came up with...
The Information Age brought about computers and the internet.
The factual information is that we are able to do more now than we could prior to the dawning of information age. Computers in their current form today were on-existent. The computers that did exist took up the size of a large room. Computer code was written on punch cards and “fed” into the computers. There is a podcast on iTunes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs that speak of how things were prior to the real evolution of the information age.
The computers that did exist that could be used by individuals as noted in the podcast had very little memory and hard disk space. Because of this the programs written to run on these computers also had very limited capabilities. The computer programming code existed on tape recorders. I know this personally because I used the computers like this. One of the early computers that were in existence was made by Radio Shack and was called the TRS-80. The computer was not stand alone with a display but rather was more like a keyboard with outlets to input peripherals. To this “keyboard” I connected my TV which served as a display. I also connected little snap in cartridges which contained the programs I wanted to run. There were cartridges for Word Processing, Spreadsheets and even online communications via Videotext Cartridge. There was also a programming language cartridge called Basic Assembler. You could save your work (Wording Docs, Spreadsheets, etc.) on to a Cassette Tape Recorder. To get online I used a cable connected to the keyboard that when into a separate Modem. This Modem connected me to the Information Services that existed at the time such as CompuServe Information Service (CIS). This was the “Internet” for users of the time. You were able to read the latest news, join in Bulletin Board Discussions as well as participate in Live Chat.
Information Exchange was a key part of the Information Age. As the Information Age further evolved, individual users found that that if they did not want to pay for an online information service such as CompuServe, they could create they own exchange of information between one or more users. This was done via the use of Computer Bulletin Board Systems or BBS’s. I ran one of these systems. Users were able to l dial my system (my actual telephone line) and I had my computer setup “ready” to take calls from users. I had Message Boards setup for users to exchange information with each other on my system. A Network of Computer Users evolved that at certain intervals at night would “drop off” messages to other Bulletin Board Systems. The Message exchange would be to the “next closest” system so that eventually the message “drop off” would cover the global. Popular networks of that time were called “Fido Net” Systems where numerically assigned numbers were the “ID” number for the individual computer board systems. The cost was just the phone calls and thus the mail drop offs occurred late at night were rates were low.
At this point the Internet was not in full swing, but E-Commerce was “up and coming” Using these same Bulletin Board Systems users were able to subscribe to services during their dial up session and purchase products using a credit card. The Bulletin Board System would just as it “dropped off” mail, would “drop off” credit card transactions to a card processor for payment. Automation in these early stages was key, so I had my Bulletin Board System setup to automatically take an incoming call, from a user looking to exchange email and/or purchase products. That same evening my system would automatically go offline to drop of mail to the nearest BBS System part of the Fidonet Network and then make another call to process any pending credit card orders.
As the Information Age further evolved having a “Website” was the “in” thing to have. With your Website you now became automatically global. Users could now visit your website and do all of the things they did on your Dial up Bulletin Board System. Once more, while you could only have a limited amount of users on your Bulletin Board System, on the Internet via a Website there was no limit. You would only have to pay additionally charges if you had an exceeding large amounts of traffic called bandwidth. The Internet via a Website allowed for Multimedia which was a big step forward. You could now have Sound, Pictures and Video all on your website to enhance the user experience. You could now offer many of the same services that the online information systems such as CompuServe were offering. This capability often led to the demise of companies such as this because “everybody and their mother” could do the same thing.
Today, my Bulletin Board which was accessed by dialing a phone number is now called up via my website bearing the same name Holman's World. I can offer what I offered on the Bulletin Board Service and much more because of the evolvement of the Information Age.
The Big Online Services like CompuServe provided the “neat and cool stuff”. I found their offerings were quite exciting. The offered very manageable discussion boards. I actually served as Discussion Board Leader in many of these online forums. I saw what the board looked like from an Administrative point and was impressed. Just as companies were developing products for the BBS users, they were also developing products for the Large Online Services as well. As the Online Services could have numerous amounts of users online, their message boards were very large and just trying to read everything was a challenge. Companies developed software that allowed users to read their messages offline whether for a large online service or a Bulletin Board Service, thus saving online cost. These Offline Readers (OLR) were key for all users as they could mark read messages and compose responses to be sent during their next online session, whether on a large online service or on a computer Bulletin Board Service.
In the Information Age, we’ve come a long way and it seems we still have a long way to go as today’s technology is history by tomorrow.
As I did with my Wall Street Article, I'd like to mention again an organization that has played a critical role in technological developements and that organization is BDPA Information Technology Though Leaders (http://www.bdpa.org/) This organization was right at the forefront of the Bulletin Board Systems back in the day and had it's own FidoNet Style network called, BDPANET. Take at look at some the BDPA files from back in the day as well. Also the picture in this Blog post is me presenting an Internet Seminar at a BDPA National Conference actually during the time when the BDPANET and my BBS was in full swing. The Laptop Shown is what I actually used to run my BBS.
This paper mentioned the larger online services and offering such as Chat Sessions. I conducted some of them. What did they look like. Have Look at my Chat Logs from back in the day.
Lastly I tried to share an lesson on two on the regular and called them, "Information Highway Lessons".
Watch this video relative the Dawning of Age:
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Monday, August 20, 2018
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Saturday, July 28, 2018
5 Secrets to Networking Success
5 Secrets to Networking Success
Networking skills are an absolute must for people looking to grow their business. One important skill is being able to interact socially. In this article we go over some simple ways to improve your networking success by polishing your social skills.
Social skills help us connect with others, and that’s what networking is, connecting with others. The more often you do something, the more it will become second nature. So make an effort to do the following five things regularly:
Remember to say “please” and “thank you.”
Saying “please” and “thank you” may be so basic that you don’t think it even falls under social skills. Be that as it may, courtesy is so important that it deserves to be listed here, and it’s a large part of what makes up good social skills.
Make proper eye contact
Making eye contact frequently and appropriately can make the difference between coming across as likable or not. Look at the person when you’re speaking with him or her, but without staring, and pay close attention.
Even if you’re one of those people who actually can pay attention when they seem to be preoccupied with other things, maintaining eye contact will let the other person know you are interested. Don’t just pay attention, but make sure the other person knows that you’re listening.
Repeat the other person’s name
In a conversation, be sure to repeat the other person’s name. It will make them feel very much acknowledged and remember their name. There are a lot of quotes about how much people love the sound of their own name, the thing is – it’s true.
Whenever you find yourself talking with someone, pay close attention. They may be giving you clues for assistance that you can lend your experience and opportunity with them to help solve their needs.
Repeat something they’ve said recently
When you’ve had a conversation with someone and talk to them again, repeat something they’ve said. Ask them about something specific to follow up on. It shows them that you paid close attention as we mentioned, but also will remind them of your previous conversation.
Social skills are a key part of what makes you achieve business success. Practice them regularly and watch how quickly you’ll get new clients!
Posted in Uncategorized ·
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Within the Global Bank Custody space is a key component, The Sub Custodian Network. As a Global Custodian, you can have the best systems and best people to manage the client space but if your Sub Custodian Network is weak, this can cripple your business.
The settlement of securities and cash is heavily dependent on your Sub Custodian Network. These are the contacts overseas that ensure that your Cash and Securities settle on time.
You may find that all of your trades (cash and securities) are failing in a foreign market. It may be a time to ensure that your Network Management team is evaluating the service being provided by your Sub Custodian Network overseas. The scorecard show continually low marks, it may be time to change your Sub Custodian. Another Sub Custodian may be settling securities and cash in a more timely manner than the Sub Custodian you are currently using.
Why is this important? You Custody Clients. If your client does not have an Investment Manager, they may decide to move the business to another Custodian. If your client does have an Investment Manager they may have the Manager move the business to another Custodian.
Again, you can have best systems and people, but your trades are failing in one market and no steps are being taking at the Network Management Level, you can lose the business. The clients may not be satisfied with, "Settlement is slow in that market", particularly if they have an Investment Manager and find that other custodians are settling their trades in that market on time using a different Sub Custodian. Your task at the Custodian Level is the make the steps if necessary to change the Sub Custodian and communicate the change to the client before the issue reaches a level that causes the client to move the business away from you.
There can be caste strophic issue with a constant failing Sub Custodian in a particular market. Quite often your clients depend on the proceeds of a Sale of a foreign security to fund a potential overdrawn currency balance. If the sale fails, the currency account never get funded unless it's a contractual account that funds the proceeds whether or not the sale settles. Even in this case you may have to claim the interest earned in the foreign currency back from the client as "undue enrichment" if the failing trade was due to the client and not the sub custodian. These scenarios may happen in any event, but why not make sure your Sub Custodian Network is strong to eliminate that ever being a question?
Have a Strong Sub Custodian Network with a Network Management team rating the timeliness of settlement along with communicating changes to Settlement Instructions is critical to the custody business.
By Mike Holman
Monday, August 8, 2016
"How Wall Street looked to a high school student". I understood back in the day, starting in the Back Office that I would definitely be "Hands On". I actually held in my hand some instruments that are rarely found in physical form anymore such as Certificates of Deposits, Bankers Acceptances, Ginnie Mae's, Fannie Mae's and Treasury Notes with the Coupons attached! Let me emphasize here that these disciplines within your Financial Services Career are excellent to have; after you have obtained them it's important to broaden your horizon or scope of knowledge. Why you may ask??? If you are happy in just that discipline, fine. If you are sure you will always have that position, fine? This was a very valid school of thought in the 1980's! With the onslaught of the Financial Crisis we have seen, this is no longer case (more on that a little later). I had the opportunity to "branch out if you will" and while still in a Back Office setting I was able to add on Foreign Exchange (Remittance, Confirmations, Settlements, etc.), supporting the Front Office Traders. From here I moved into the Middle Office, where while I was not so much "Hands On", I was more of a Liaison between the Clients and the various other groups such as Back Office. The Benefit was having worked in the Back Office, I was able to "feel" what they were doing if that makes sense and also because of the networks developed, and I had people to reach out to in trying to meet goals. The Middle Office called upon my knowledge obtained in the Back Office, Money Market, Equity, Fixed and Foreign Exchange. Let's break this down further (in terms of the impact of change within Financial Services) as you are looking at your Financial Career. What has happened is this: Little known to us, those physical instruments have gone away as they are morphed into book entry form, so everything is on the system. Where it would take me working through my lunch hour in the back office trying to count physicals such as Municipal Bonds, it is no longer the case with them being converted into book entry from. I mean I would actually have a stack of securities the height of my desk "dropped off" for me to count as it was a delivery from one counterparty to another. With the book entry format, the counting (among many other thing we would have to do such as stamping each security with our Nominee Name (oh the pain!!!) to make it negotiable) has gone away. With the Economic Crisis events such as 9/11, it has made companies think about really spreading themselves out more geographically. Within the "Location Strategy" initiatives, more onshore jobs and less onshore people have been offshored. With huge financial losses suffered by firms, many have closed down. It behooves those pursuing a career within Financial Services to learn as much as possible to be as diversified as possible. You will then not be dependent on just on discipline and one firm for your whole career. That one discipline may change (ex. physical to book entry). That one company may outsource that discipline as well. I started noticing while in the Middle Office using my Back Office skills to assist me on the a day to day basis, that the Client Service role I was performing in the Middle Office was evolving more and more into an Analytical role or Business Analyst role geared even more towards Process Improvement. I began to take on Business Analyst Roles and found that in seeking to broaden my knowledge, Business Analysis is in no way limited to Financial Services, but is in full swing in many industries. This opens the door when not just a company but an industry may be experiencing a slowdown, another industry, may be in full swing! To compliment what I was doing as a Business Analyst, I also took Business Analysis and Project courses via a company called Global Knowledge. I have obtained the Certification of CBAP® - Certified Business Analysis Professional I hope this write which include a short video of my background is helpful to you! Mike Holman New York Financial Careers Examiner