Launches New Consulting Practice Area�IT Value Management�To Help

NEEDHAM, MA, May 12, 2003�With profits sorely challenged, global financial services firms entered 2003 with a strong focus on core business strategy and operational efficiency�and a directive to align technology investments closely with both. In new research, TowerGroup estimates that global 2003 spending on financial services technology will total $333.7 billion, an increase of 2.3% over IT spending in 2002.

In direct response to the unprecedented industry focus on operational efficiency and the downward pressure on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), TowerGroup has launched a new consulting practice called �IT Value Management.� This new practice is specifically designed to help financial institutions more effectively align business strategies with IT investments and increase Return on Investment (ROI).

�From our extensive research around technology investments and spending�as well as a number of recent consulting engagements�we realized that we are uniquely placed to help financial institutions ensure that technology initiatives have a clear business case and, most importantly, that they deliver ROI,� said Maureen Hesney, senior vice president of Research and Consulting, TowerGroup.

The �IT Value Management� Consulting practice will encompass TowerGroup�s in-depth knowledge of the business processes within the financial services industry, alongside its ongoing base of research into industry best practices�such as IT investment prioritization, project management initiatives and sourcing decisions.

�TowerGroup has helped numerous clients implement successful IT Value Management programs,� noted Greggory Kobelski, vice president of North American consulting for TowerGroup. �There are tangible benefits to securing enterprise-wide agreement on IT investments and then holding those projects accountable to deliver on the expected return.�

Commenting on TowerGroup�s recently published global IT spending research, Kobelski added, �The two largest IT spending markets are North America at $123.6 billion and the European Union at $105.7 billion. The former is experiencing a 2.8% growth rate as a result of a prolonged retail banking boom, while the latter is declining at just over 1% as technology budgets are cut in the wake of major losses in investment banking operations, accumulated overspending on technology and the divestitures of non-core businesses. These investments are significant, and TowerGroup can help financial institutions navigate their way through what continues to be very challenging environment.�

TowerGroup expects new technology investments in major geographies to range between 24% and 27% of total IT spending. Expected growth in IT spending in other world regions will be fueled by a migration from proprietary to packaged applications as well as investments in the Internet channel, resulting in 35% of total IT spending being consumed by investments in new technologies.

Excerpts of the TowerGroup research report, �Global Financial Services IT Spending in 2003: It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times,� is available to qualified members of the press for review.

About TowerGroup: TowerGroup�now celebrating its 10th year�is the leading research and advisory company focused on the global financial services industry. A respected source for trusted information and advice, TowerGroup brings many of the world�s largest financial services, technology and consulting firms a deeper understanding of the business and technology issues impacting their organizations. Headquartered near Boston in Needham, Massachusetts, and with offices in New York, London, and Kuala Lumpur, TowerGroup serves a global client base.