Brokerages to Expand Bond Site into Securities Hub

FRAMINGHAM (03/13/2000) - Six top Wall Street firms and Communicator Inc. said today they will expand the recently created financial portal Bond.Hub into Securities.Hub, which will link the brokerage Web sites and feature bond research and price quotations.

Goldman, Sachs & Co., J. P. Morgan & Co., Lehman Brothers Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. and Salomon Smith Barney Holdings Inc., all based in New York, will own majority interests in the venture, which will allow institutional investors to see listings of new research and price quotes by all six firms with a single log-on and password.

Investors won't place buy or sell orders through Securities.Hub, but will be directly linked to the brokerages for those transactions.

The venture expands on Bond.Hub, which was formed in December by Goldman, Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, and Citigroup Inc.'s Salomon Smith Barney.

The addition of Lehman Brothers, J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch is expected to increase the number of institutional customers with access to Bond.Hub from 8,000 to more than 12,000.

What differentiates Securities.Hub from other sites that commingle data from different sources is that content on the new site will continue to maintain its brand identity, said Leo Schlinkert, CEO of infrastructure provider Communicator Inc. in New York.

"Normally, in commingling solutions, the information is delivered in one jumbled pool, with all the information mushed together," he said.

Securities.Hub is expected to go live in two to three months, said Schlinkert.

The system will continue to use brokers' Web sites as its main access point, though direct access may be enabled sometime in the future, he added.

The brokerages will own a majority interest in Securities.Hub, while Communicator Inc. will provide the infrastructure, operate the business and own a minority stake. The next addition to Securities.Hub will be the listing of new issue debt securities and access to online sites for securities underwriting firms.

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