Investors get chance to keep pace with brokers

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The Independent Online

Durlacher, the stockbroker whose shares have soared on the back of investment in dot coms and new media, aims to level the broking playing-field with an online share dealing service, nothing-ventured.com, for anyone wanting to invest.

Durlacher, the stockbroker whose shares have soared on the back of investment in dot coms and new media, aims to level the broking playing-field with an online share dealing service, nothing-ventured.com, for anyone wanting to invest.

The website, which goes live tomorrow morning, will give private investors access to Durlacher's research as well as exclusive access to new services.

"We are taking investment services into the 21st century," said Hans Stocker, director of online services. "Previously most private investors would be issued share certificates by post the day after trading started in the issued company, while institutional investors could trade from the start. [Now] shares are issued electronically, giving private investors the same advantages as institutions."

For a £50 annual fee, investors will have their own account via the website: nothing-ventured.com will then monitor the market for them and e-mail price alerts as well as providing analysis and opinions about various sectors of the market. Investors will also have access to Durlacher's portfolio letting them invest in companies at flotation. There are currently 30 companies in Durlacher's portfolio but this is expected to rise to 50 by the end of March. Within the existing group, there are plans for three or four companies to be floated this year, and these flotations could come as early as June.

"We are giving credit investors access to pre-flotations, from which the rewards can be considerable," said Geoffrey Chamberlain, chairman and chief executive of Durlacher. "Obviously, though, there are risks involved in investing in these companies, so this exposure is not for the masses but for those with experience and resources," he warned.

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