U.S. investment companies are boosting technology investments after years of slow growth, CMP TechWeb reports, citing data from TowerGroup.

TowerGroup projects IT budgets will rise in 2006, with asset managers' focus shifting from cutting costs to driving revenue and business investment. The booming hedge fund and derivatives sectors will require considerable investments from institutional brokerage firms.

Retail brokerage and investing firms will be sustained by Baby Boomers' increasing longevity, climbing levels of wealth and the ongoing transfer of retirement responsibility to the individual. Knowledgeable retail firms will build more flexibility into their core technology structures, allowing them to respond more flexibly to an array of various kinds of investors.

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