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February 1, 2005

LaBranche Hits the Jackpot

By Staff Reports

LaBranche Financial Services, the upstairs trading wing of the biggest NYSE specialist firm, is a winner of a trade cost-analysis sweepstakes. Elkins/ McSherry, which tracks trading costs, says LaBranche was better than 89 percent of the institutions examined for Time VWAP in New York Stock Exchange trading. It was 0.6 cents superior and beat the industry VWAP by 1.6 cents. In Nasdaq Time VWAP trading, LaBranche was judged better than all of the other institutions. It was 1.83 cents ahead of the VWAP and beat the industry average by 2.8 cents.

The Elkins study, for the third quarter of 2004, analyzed some 100 million of NYSE and Nasdaq shares. Some 58 million of them were NYSE names. In the previous quarter, LaBranche was similarly ahead of the industry pack in NYSE and Nasdaq VWAP trading. The universe included 200 large institutions; 11 million trades, $2 trillion in principal and 211 billion shares of trading.