FBR Debuts Online Investment Bank

IPO underwriter Friedman, Billings Ramsey Group, Inc. Thursday launched
what it calls the nation’s first public online investment bank at FBR.com.

The company said the launch will significantly open initial public
offerings (IPOs) and venture capital investment to online investors.
Investors will have the opportunity to register to participate in the
company’s future IPOs.

“We are the first major IPO underwriter to make the individual
online investor a major focus of our IPO strategy,” said W. Russell Ramsey,
FBR president.

“By placing up to 20 percent of all IPO stock allocations in the hands of
online investors, Fbr.com is underscoring that the Internet investment
market is coming of age. At FBR, we are fundamentally shifting all facets
of our business to the online world.”

Future plans include the creation of a financial services portal, complete
with brokerage services and
research, financial news, analytical tools and other related content. The
company also said it will make its exclusive venture capital investments and
other proprietary financial products available soon on its Web site.

Based in the Arlington, Va., FBR has already made investments in 16
Internet technology firms, including Proxicom, CareerBuilder.com and Network
Access Solutions. The company said it will operate a “business incubator”
to provide seed investments and other startup assistance to local
high-technology entrepreneurs.

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