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Michael Simmons' Securities Operations: A Guide to Trade and Position Management is IMHOP the best Financial Securities Operations text {Back, Front, Middle office; tilts more towards the Back}, for a new or even seasoned developer, app support, bus/sys analyst or investment banker. I work with traders, back & middle office and IT staff implemeting & supporting financial software at a top global investment bank, and though I have a fairly good financial background this book does a lot for me. It is very much what happens on the ground and reflects the others rich experience! For those developing, using, training or supporting financial s/w [Equities, Futures, FX, Options, Risk, Operations, etc.] it is easily the best.

In 450 pages it clearly and succintly covers the full gamut of the operations cycle and instrument types with sufficient details of data strucures and workflows, to design and develop a reasonably complete productline of client prototypes and services kernel of investment banking software, even covering relatively obscure areas like primary market, lending & colllateral operations. You only need to flesh them out with product, algorithmic or customer-specific requirements. No other book on the market comes close; indeed it covers STP better than the dedicated STP books. Some reviewers - who may not have really read the book - say it is euro-centric, outdated, etc. and rate it poorly; I beg to differ! It is as error-free as any book can get and includes tables and diagrams that make it enjoyable reading. It does not adequately hit areas such as details of derivative products, pricing algorithms, etc. but it is simply impossible to cover such areas and still maintain focus on the fundamentals. In addition, it does not cover some of the latest developments, e.g continuous settlement [2nd edition is due, methink]; this should, however not detract from it's utility, accuracy or overall quality at all.

Having said this, finer details of certain topics are better obtained from Larry Harris' Trading and Exchanges: Market Microstructure for Practitioners, which I consider the second best; he goes deeper than Simmons into exchange/market & brokerage structures, operations, behaviour and arbitrage. Other very good books that are must-read: Yogesh Shetty's Practical .NET for Financial Markets (Expert's Voice in .Net) - lots of good source code; Alexander Kuznetsov's The Complete Guide to Capital Markets for Quantitative Professionals (McGraw-Hill Library of Investment and Finance) is quite recent with a basic introduction to derivatives, algorithmic trading and quantitatives with good references; Michael Simmon's other book Corporate Actions: A Guide to Securities Event Management (The Wiley Finance Series); Jeremiah J. O'Oconnell's Handbook of Global Securities Operatiions. Frankly, there are several others but IMHOP these are the best after reading and previewing several of them. If you must choose only two or three your best bet would be the first Simmons book, Larry Harris, and Shetty. [I do not know any of these authors; just saying it as I see it and giving a bit back for the helpful reviews I often read.]
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on 20 May 2005
For anyone in and around the investment bank industry this is required reading. It covers the entire gamut of the operations unit, from Trade Validation and Agreement, through Settlement Instruction Status management, to Position Keeping & Funding.
It is easy to read and very much "what does happen in the real world" rather than theory. I've read many books of this ilk and this is best of breed.
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on 29 March 2013
I bought this book to get an overview of the trade life cycle within an investment bank. I would recommend this for anyone needing a similar overview. The focus is largely on the activities that are required within operations (mainly the settlement process) but there is the right level of information to give an understanding of what is required for trade processing throughout the organization. It does not go into any details about derivatives or complex instruments but does give an overview of product types that gives enough of a foundation to allow readers to build on should they need to subsequently go to more specialist material. A section on the accounting entries is an excellent walk-through some trade entries that gives a good understanding of the basic accounting entries. The book ends with a consideration of some of the issues and initiatives that have historically been considered important within trading organisations. There may be a few more added since the book was written. However, the issues covered are not obsolote. In my opinion, the whole book has the right level of detail . This book should be required reading for anyone supporting or working in a securities trading organization.
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on 27 August 2008
This was a good read and not dry and impenetrable as many books written for this industry are. It would be good to see some analysis of the major players in the industry (particularly given the growth in ECNs and ATSs in Europe) and perhaps expand on settlement in the area of derivatives, particularly exotics. Fodder for the next edition perhaps?
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on 28 December 2007
About a quarter of the way through this book and felt compelled to write how good it is. Comprehensive and thorough but written in a manner that's easy to follow. Filled a number of gaps in my understanding of security operations. Definite read for anyone in this field
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on 5 November 2005
Covers the subject well, but badly needs a good editor.
The author’s style of writing reminds me of my school textbooks.
Overall it will be a good buy because there is no other book that covers the subject so well.
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on 18 December 2015
A very good book
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on 12 March 2009
I bought this book because I misplaced my manager's same book.
This book I consider as the bible of Securities operation which explains the concepts in a very clear understandable words.

I would recommend this book for anyone working in the Securites Opertions area of Investment Banking. Especially people who work under IT.
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