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June 30, 2002

Bernstein Touts Research In New Market Maker Role

By Staff Reports

Sanford C. Bernstein, a firm that specializes in institutional and research services, is launching a Nasdaq dealer desk.

A seven-person market maker team, headed by former Spear Leeds program trading pro, Tom Shapero, is ramping up amidst a difficult economic climate for dealers. Bernstein believes it can parlay its reputation for independent research into institutional order flow. Since Bernstein is not an underwriter, its research is usually perceived as unbiased. "The firm is not conflicted," said Shapero, referring to the current scrutiny by regulators of research services on Wall Street.

Initially, the firm plans to make markets in about 40 OTC names. Later, it expects to expand to about 100. The names will include many of the top-tier stocks that Bernstein covers in research.

Joining Shapero, who will double as a sales trader, are Jim O'Reilly, a market maker from Charles Schwab Capital Markets; Mark Susi, a former Knight Securities pro; Paul Azzariti, who also came from Spear, Leeds; as well as sales traders, Bev Caen from Instinet; and Brad Wilson from ABN AMRO.