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SELL SIDE SELLING
Independent research may be fine and dandy, but someone still has to sell the stuff.
Last month three Wall Street veterans launched a firm to do just that. The trio -- John Hewitt, former president of Knight Securities; Andrew Klein, founder and former CEO of Wit Capital (now SoundView Technology Group); and Robert Stellato, a 26-year veteran trader of Goldman Sachs -- launched Soleil Securities, a brokerage firm that will provide outsourced sales and trading services to independent research firms. Soleil aims to help independents sell their research and get paid for it in trading. Soleil will outsource most of its main trading operations but will build a proprietary system to track what analysts are getting paid, down to the penny. "You have to be there with a tin cup saying, 'Pay me for the good ideas,'" Klein says. The group may benefit from the tumult on the Street. Early last year Hewitt and Stellato tried to find a way to promote the research of regional brokerage firms -- none of which were getting paid for their good ideas. When tainted research started to make daily headlines, the trio realized that they could also cater to the burgeoning independents. "Jobs in this business are not coming back," says Klein. "This gives talented analysts a new model to stay employed."