Financial services on the Internet gained legitimacy last month when Dean Witter, Discover & Co. said it had agreed to acquire Lombard Institutional Brokerage Inc. of San Francisco. No longer would Lombard be regarded as a disintermediating thorn in the side of the traditional brokerage community. The company known to its public as Lombard.com is becoming part of that establishment.

But as American Banker reporter Drew Clark learned in this recent conversation with John H. MacIlwaine, chief technology officer of Lombard and president and chief executive officer of its Bay One Technologies subsidiary, there can be nothing traditional about a securities operation that does most of its business over the World Wide Web.

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