Nasdaq Buys FleetBoston's Software Unit

WASHINGTON - FleetBoston Financial Corp. sold its software unit to the Nasdaq stock market for about $10 million, a Nasdaq official said.The unit, Financial Systemware Inc. of Jersey City, N.J., sells stock-trading software to about 135 brokerages. The company's $10 million-a-year revenue is expect to soon double as it introduces new brokerage software products this summer, said Patrick Campbell, Nasdaq's chief operating officer.

The deal is Nasdaq's first purchase of a for-profit company. Nasdaq, the second-largest stock market in the United States, may make other company acquisitions as it moves to become a profit-making company itself by September, Mr. Cambell said.

"Our job is to maximize shareholder value in the new Nasdaq, and this is one of the ways we're going to do that," Mr. Campbell said in an interview Tuesday.

Financial Systemware, which will be renamed Nasdaq Tools, makes "Tools of the Trade" software that dealers use to manage their quotations and orders. The company plans to start selling a "Tools Plus" product this summer that seeks to help dealers manage their trading inventory, finances, and rule-compliance requirements.

Nasdaq plans to expand the software company, whose customers include CIBC World Markets, and Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co., Mr. Campbell said.

- Bloomberg News

Lehman Exec Given Latin American Post

NEW YORK - Lehman Brothers on Tuesday named Jeffrey L. Weiss head of the firm's investment banking practice in Latin America.Mr. Weiss has most recently been head of Lehman's global fixed income capital markets group. He will add responsibility for Latin American corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions advisory services in his new job.

Lehman is among a growing number of companies that are gearing up their investment banking services in Latin America. Commercial banks, including FleetBoston Financial Group and Chase Manhattan Corp., have also been building their presence in the region.

"We will continue to dedicate important resources to capitalize on the investment banking opportunities in these markets, particularly related to the new economy," said Bradely H. Jack, head of Lehman's global investment banking division.

Mr. Weiss joined Lehman in 1983 and has had responsibility for the company's fixed income global debt syndicate and its capital markets business.

Wilmington Trust Profit Up 5% in Quarter

WILMINGTON, Del. - Wilmington Trust Corp. said its first-quarter earnings rose 5%, to $30.6 million, or 94 cents a share. It said it had double-digit growth across all major business lines, including wealth management, corporate trust, and commercial banking.The $7.2 billion-asset company said last week that it continues to reconfigure its branch network. Wilmington Trust closed four offices in Delaware during the quarter and replaced them with unstaffed electronic banking centers. Similar changes are scheduled next month for more branches in the state. The company also sold three branches in Maryland to a local community bank on undisclosed terms.

Fee revenue rose 6%, to $52 million; it made up 44.3% of total income, up from 43.6% the year earlier.

Revenues from asset management and trust services rose 12%, to $40.3 million, fueled by new business development, sales, and market appreciation of investments. Assets under management rose 12%, to $26 billion. The unit includes revenues from corporate trust, which rose 18%, and from private-client and personal trust services, which rose 12.4%.

Loan growth propelled net interest income higher by 10%, to $63.7 million. Total loans rose 11.6%, to $4.9 billion, and more than half the growth came from commercial lending in southeastern Pennsylvania, the company said.

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