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February 1, 2003

A Beantown Player in Upstairs Trading

By John A. Byrne

Adams, Harkness & Hill, a Nasdaq research, sales and trading boutique in small, mid-cap and emerging growth stocks, is planning to open an upstairs desk staffed by three pros.

The desk, earmarked for the firm's Boston headquarters, could enable it to satisfy the buyside's demand for more market critical information. Adams currently trades listed stocks on a strictly agency arrangement with floor brokers on the Big Board.

Under the new arrangement, which is expected to be activated later this year, Adams could cross NYSE stocks and commit capital. It would still continue to send some trades to the NYSE floor.

"[An upstairs desk] is what buyside clients want now more than ever," John Tesoro, Adams' head of equity sales and trading told Traders Magazine. He said many buyside desks collect a vast amount of market sensitive information, which is usually synthesized by the portfolio managers and analysts. "Buyside desks are focused on fundamental information flows as well as merchandise flows," Tesoro said. "If we can provide a cohesive desk in listed as well as OTC names, that's potent value added."