The Gay Financial Network's online site has dropped a FleetBoston Financial Corp. subsidiary as its trading services provider and switched to DLJdirect Inc.
Walter B. Schubert, founder and chairman of gfn.com, said Fleet Securities Inc.'s services were too bare-bones, providing only online trade execution to his account holders.
DLJdirect will offer a host of additional services, Mr. Schubert said.
Firstly, the Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette unit provides a way for gfn.com members open accounts online with GFN Investments, the site's investment arm, he said. DLJ also provides free access to third-party analysis of customer investment decisions; real-time news; and customized news alerts for portfolio holdings, stock quotes, and information about newly launched initial public offerings, Mr. Schubert said.
Furthermore, DLJ provides access to stock and fund sorting and evaluation tools, investing software, and wireless trading options, he said. And now GFN Investments members can speak with a registered broker by phone to discuss account information or place trades.
DLJdirect is consistently ranked among the best online service providers, Mr. Schubert noted
He said he had talked with DLJdirect before signing with Fleet in 1998, the year the Gay Financial Network was launched. The decision was difficult, he said, but he chose Fleet then because it was a widely recognized and respected brand
Glenn Tongue, the president of DLJdirect, said the opportunity to provide brokerage services to gfn.com's customer base gives his operation unique leverage in the gay and lesbian community. Gays and lesbians are promising customers partly because of the many "dinks" (double income, no kids) among them, he said.
Gay Financial Network is also about to add a "large, global brick-and-mortar bank" as an online provider of banking services. The network is negotiating with several large banks and should have an announcement to make in two to four weeks, he said.
Network members could use either the new partner; or GFN's current provider of online banking services, the Internet-only G&L Bank of Pensacola, Fla.; or both, Mr. Schubert said.