The folks at National Discount Brokers pride themselves as innovators. In 1994, the company launched the first flat-fee brokerage service on the Internet-a move since mimicked by dozens of rivals. Now they're trolling investor waters for upscale female clients via an alliance with Women's Connection Online (WCO).

Chairman and CEO Dennis Marino hopes the marketing relationship with the popular Web site will give NDB an inside track on one of the fastest- growing segments in the fiercely competitive world of on-line trading.

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