E*Trade has been tearing up the turf in terms of deal making. Its venture with Electronic Share Information Ltd. appears to address a number of criteria for marketing success, such as working with local firms to build brand, visibility and value added services.

Costley explains the holding company s marketing tactics include achieving good Web visibility by being simple and reliable; creating relationships by working with others, such as browser companies; building on ESI s existing base which, he claims, is adding customers at the rate of 10,000 per month.

The E*Trade connection also will allow the firm to compete domestically by doing something better than offering UK shares; that is, by providing an international link for round-the-world trading.

The overall strategy, he says, is based on research which reveals that price is not the primary attribute valued U.K. customers. High on the list is fast trading, especially in busy markets. Next is error free in calling and settlement, and third, information interlinked with the trading facility.

The CEO also contests the view that his countrymen are neither equity interested, nor Internet connected, by citing some U.K. statistics. Out of a population of 60 million, there are 17 million private investors, 8 percent of whom own more than 10 shares; a Net penetration rate that s 9 percent and growing, with 34 percent of these Net users owning shares; and a record of 60 to 80 trades per year by those who are connected to ESI.

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