Broker Legg Mason Plans to Add Banking

BALTIMORE -- Legg Mason is adding on-line banking to its on-line brokerage services and seeks help from an outside company. The brokerage hopes to decide on a partner within three months and to introduce on-line banking in the second half."We have identified two to three companies that we can work with to offer the services to our clients," said Louis Foran, senior vice president for sales and marketing. He would not say which companies the Baltimore brokerage has approached, nor whether they are Internet banks or software companies.

Like many other brokerages, Legg Mason said it recognizes that it must add on-line banking to its Web site to remain competitive, Mr. Foran said. Merrill Lynch, for example, said last week that it plans to roll out Internet banking services.

"I think it is a combination of wanting to be competitive and not wanting to be at a disadvantage. All firms have the same goal," Mr. Foran said, "to control the greatest percentage of a client's wealth."

The brokerage also plans to let customers apply for mortgages on-line within the next three months. Legg Mason began offering mortgages in May 1998 through an alliance with Columbia (Md.) National, a mortgage company.

-- Jessica Toonkel

CheckFree Lost-Assets Network Adds Maine

ATLANTA -- CheckFree Holdings Corp. has 20 states participating in its program, with the addition of Maine this week.The program is a national search engine that locates consumers' lost assets and unclaimed property, free of charge. Millions of property owners have lost track of savings accounts, stocks, paychecks, and other financial instruments over time as they or their relatives have relocated.

"Maine manages approximately $50 million in unclaimed property that we hope to return to the rightful owners as soon as possible," said Maine State Treasurer Dale McCormick.

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators Inc. selected CheckFree to run the database, partly because of the company's ability to provide electronic bill payment securely to more than three million Americans. has the potential to house more than $16 billion in unclaimed property. It uses a national database developed and maintained by the business division of CheckFree.

Chase Adds Software For Selling Big Loans

NEW YORK -- Chase Manhattan Corp. is using software from Intralinks to let potential investors view video recordings of bank meetings and key documents associated with loan syndication deals.Potential investors in any time zone, equipped with a user name and password, will be able to rerun meeting videos at their convenience, enhancing the reach of issuers to the global pool of investors.

Chase's first use of the service will be to market a $1.2 billion loan syndication for Crown Castle to potential investors. In addition to the 72 prospective investors attending the meeting in New York, Chase will authorize another 11 investors to see the video plus confidential loan documents on the Intralinks site.

"We consider this technology to be cutting edge. It is obvious that this is the way business will be transacted in the future," said Ben Moreland, senior vice president and treasurer at Crown Castle.

Intralinks has enabled Chase and its clients to communicate sensitive deal information over the Internet for the past two years.

"It is a powerful tool to help potential participants make investment decisions," said Peter Gleysteen, head of global syndicated finance.

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