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Legg Mason Clearing Arm Inks Deal With Middle-Ware Vendor

Press Release:: 21 July 2002

Legg Mason Wood Walker has partnered with Marketware International to connect international brokerages--both institutional and retail--to its execution and clearing platform. The vendor will introduce foreign brokerage firms to Legg Mason and providing middle-ware connectivity to Legg's clearing platform, said Fred Zeh, director of sales and marketing for Legg Mason Wood Walker. "We're hoping to go after larger European institutions," said Zeh. "It was an opportunity for someone to refer new clearing business to us."

Marketware will be providing a FIX messaging platform to connect Asian and European firms to Legg Mason's clearing and execution platform, said Jose Pierre, ceo of Marketware. The FIX messaging system is based on a Microsoft platform, although Marketware plans to offer clients an IBM and Java-based platform, noted Pierre.

The system will primarily handle equities at this point, although options may be added later on, he said. "Legg Mason is a solid name in the U.S.," said Pierre. "That's why we approached them as a partner." Marketware is looking to establish partnerships with two other clearing firms to market to international brokerages. Under the agreement, Legg Mason and Marketware have separate contracts with the international firms--it is not an integrated pricing arrangement, noted Zeh.

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