Merrill Lynch Offers ML X-ACT(SM) Algorithmic Trading Services Via LatentZero

New York, January 20, 2005 - Merrill Lynch announced today that its ML X-ACTSM algorithmic and computer-based equity trading service can now be accessed by clients through LatentZero's Minerva trading and order management system.

ML X-ACT is a benchmark-driven algorithmic trading platform built on years of quantitative research into market microstructure and stock-specific trading patterns. Dedicated research and trading professionals continuously re-calibrate the strategies based on real-time market data, execution costs and benchmark-relative performance.

"We are very pleased to partner with LatentZero to offer an integrated solution to clients," said Mike Stewart, managing director and head of global cash equity trading at Merrill Lynch. "This agreement allows even more of our clients to tap into ML X-ACT's suite of algorithm-based strategies for U.S. and European securities."

"Our order management system, Minerva, makes trading easier for clients. Through our partnership with Merrill Lynch, Minerva users can now gain direct access to comprehensive, reliable algorithms to help them make the right execution decisions," said Dan Watkins, Founder and Director of North America Operations at LatentZero.

ML X-ACT is part of Merrill Lynch's suite of premier execution services, including capital commitment and block trading, portfolio trading and analytics and direct market access.

Merrill Lynch is one of the world's leading financial management and advisory companies, with offices in 36 countries and total client assets of approximately $1.5 trillion. As an investment bank, it is a leading global underwriter of debt and equity securities and strategic advisor to corporations, governments, institutions and individuals worldwide. Through Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, the company is one of the world's largest managers of financial assets. Firmwide assets under management total $478 billion. For more information on Merrill Lynch, please visit www.ml.com.

Founded in 1999, LatentZero is a global technology firm specializing in front office solutions for the buy-side community. LatentZero's products are used by six of the world's top ten asset management companies with over 2,500 users managing over $5.3 trillion in assets. LatentZero provides expert assistance, product implementation, technical integration and business and workflow review and training for its Capstone suite of front office applications, including Minerva. For additional information, please visit www.latentzero.com.