Thomson link lifts MAID

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The Independent Online

Shares in high-flying financial information company MAID rose 18p to 203p yesterday on news the company had signed a deal with Thomson Financial Services to supply brokers' research reports on-line.

The agreement, which came on the heels of MAID's link with the Microsoft Network, announced last week, will give the company exclusive rights to reproduce high-quality graphics and text based on brokers' reports collated by First Call Research Direct, a Thomson subsidiary. They will be distributed to MAID's own clients and through the MSN, the new on-line service that Windows '95 users will be able to access through pre-loaded software.

Dan Wagner, MAID chief executive, said the reports might cost about pounds 3.50 to pounds 4 a page to access, before commissions paid to MSN and to Thomson. Because the information will be supplied to MSN from third parties, the commission would be far less than Microsoft's standard 30 per cent charge.

Brokerage houses would receive a fixed percentage of the proceeds. The reports will become available on-line once brokers' own fund-managers and clients have received them.

"This product will be of interest to the sophisticated small investor," Mr Wagner said, adding that the US would be a target market. Existing corporate clients for brokers' reports paid upward of pounds 500,000 a year for the service, he said. He declined to forecast revenue from the new agreement.

From September, 25,000 reports will be available, with 2,000 more added each month. Through MAID's Infosort function, a standard search programme, users will be able to access reports by market or company, or by key word.