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February 1, 2004

Sign of the Times at Indy Trading Desk

By Staff Reports

A former Goldman Sachs trading hot shot is taking the helm at a new institutional trading desk for independent research customers.

Michael Weitzner, who also had a stint as co-head of Nasdaq sales and trading at ING-Barings/ABN Amro, was named director of trading at the Independent Research Group (IRG). It is the in-house trading subsidiary of TheStreet.com.

The hire is another sign of the changing fortunes for institutional equity research. Since the bursting of the dotcom bubble, it has become heavily criticized and penalized because of investment banking conflicts.

TheStreet.com, in moving into its own trading business, hopes to leverage its expertise servicing hedge funds and money managers.

IRG analysts follow uncovered and the more obscure stocks in the small to mid-cap range. The company said it will execute trades exclusively on an agency arrangement and will not commit its own capital.