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May 26, 2005

Matching Service Ends Tiers'

By Peter Chapman

Harborside Plus has discontinued an unusual practice, following a notice by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm, which operates a broker dealer that uses computers to match up block trading interests, said it no longer runs a system which allowed Haborside traders to view tiers', or the range of sizes of customers' orders. Harborside's decision was divulged in a letter to clients in March, following an examination by the SEC.

Harborside CEO, Michael Cashel, told clients the SEC believed that "the tiers indicating leaves greater than 100,000 shares could be construed as inconsistent with our marketing material." Harborside said the various tier ranges were originally introduced in January, 2004. Harborside's matching service is one of several popular electronic alternatives to traditional block desks. The services are promoted as anonymous and confidential.