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March 23, 2005

This Big Equity Joe Ramps Up

By Editorial Staff

Equity options have never been as popular. There are more products and volume is up. Now another stock trading heavyweight is ready. Here comes JOE, or Jefferies Options Execution, a broker dealer recently launched by Jefferies & Company and the Chicago options market maker PEAK6 Investments.

However, this is no ordinary JOE. It has familiar faces on the board of managers, including Chicago's stock veteran Tony Sanfilippo, who is executive vice president and head of U.S. equity trading at Jefferies. Other names include Matt Hulsizer from PEAK6. The new entity is equally owned by Jefferies and PEAKE6.

Under this JOE, Jefferies will offer coverage to institutional clients in equity options trading. The intriguing twist is a special focus on the mid-cap companies in Jefferies' trading, research and investment banking efforts. Jefferies plans to expand its sales force as it begins coverage.

"Jefferies' partnership with PEAK6 is the latest step in our continued expansion of products to better serve our institutional client base," says Richard Handler, Chairman and CEO of Jefferies. "We expect continued growth in the demand for options trading, and our investment in JOE reflects our commitment to enhance our existing options business to better serve our customers."