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Online Broker Adds IPOs to Offerings

Mydiscountbroker.com, the online subsidiary of Dallas-based Southwest Securities Group Inc., Thursday added initial public offerings to its lineup.

The brokerage's customers will be able to access IPOs that are underwritten by Wit Capital, the first company to offer IPOs to individual investors over the Internet. Since its founding in 1996, Wit has underwritten dozens of IPOs, although most have been for smaller firms.

Mydiscountbroker will begin offering the IPOs to its customers in the third quarter.

Bruce Zucker, president of Mydiscountbroker, said the agreement with Wit will allow his company's customers to also participate in IPOs managed by such well-known investment banks as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

"This is a prime example of how the Internet is leveling the playing field to give individual investors equal footing with large investors and institutions," he said.

A number of other online brokers also offer IPOs to their customers. Several online brokerages are subsidiaries of conventional investment banks and others partner with such institutions to give their clients access to the offerings.