Financial Security Assurance, Lehman Brothers Become Investors In TheMuniCenter, the Largest Municipal Bond Trading Platform

New Investors Join Board, Plan Participation in Open, Growing Platform



Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from TheMuniCenter

    NEW YORK, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- TheMuniCenter
 (http://www.themunicenter.com), the largest web-based platform for trading
 municipal securities, today announced the addition of Financial Security
 Assurance (FSA) and Lehman Brothers as strategic investors in the electronic
 trading platform.
     As part of their strategic investment, FSA, a major municipal bond
 insurer, and Lehman Brothers, a major brokerage firm, will have representation
 on TheMuniCenter's Board of Directors, joining founding firms Merrill Lynch &
 Co, Morgan Stanley, Salomon Smith Barney and Chapdelaine & Co.
     "The addition of Lehman Brothers as a strategic partner allows us to
 provide our customers with an even larger and more diverse inventory of fixed
 income securities while FSA's presence will provide clients with the ability
 to access on-line municipal bond insurance," said Thomas Vales, CEO of
 TheMuniCenter.  "The addition of these two firms as strategic investors
 further solidifies our investor base while complementing the product mix from
 the 400 firms using the site.  This is one more step in our effort to provide
 participants with all their market needs in one centralized location."
     "Lehman Brothers has been very impressed by the quality of
 'TheMuniCenter's technology and its senior management's vision for building a
 vibrant municipal bond platform.  We also believe that the capability and
 commitment of the ownership to provide TheMuniCenter with broad inventory and
 liquidity is setting it apart from other electronic vehicles," said Gary
 Killian, Managing Director and head of Lehman's Municipal Product Group.
     "We like the business model, management and our new partners, " said Sean
 W. McCarthy, President of Financial Security Assurance.  "The technology is
 impressive and we are working with their staff to develop the ability to offer
 secondary market insurance on-line.  We are very enthusiastic about the
 prospects for TheMuniCenter."
     TheMuniCenter platform, launched in July 2000, offers users the ability to
 trade anonymously municipal bonds and, more recently, U.S. Treasury bonds,
 bills and notes, in a live, centralized trading environment.  Customers can
 access news, analytics, and conduct customized searches to find specific types
 of issues and can execute transactions using click-through trading technology.
     "We are excited to add industry leaders to our ownership group at such an
 integral time in our platform's growth," said Vales.  "We are continuing with
 our plans to expand TheMuniCenter's functionality and product range and to
 develop the premier open platform for trading fixed income securities, with
 equal and efficient access and without restrictions, quotas or exclusive
 arrangements, to all qualified financial industry participants.  We believe
 this approach presents substantial benefits to the entire market -- both
 investors and dealers."
     TheMuniCenter continues to experience growth in viewers and transactions.
 The platform has more than 4,000 approved viewers from more than 400 financial
 institutions accessing the system.
 
     About TheMuniCenter
     TheMuniCenter is a service of Chapdelaine & Co.  It was established in
 July 2000 by Merrill Lynch & Co, Morgan Stanley, Salomon Smith Barney and
 Chapdelaine Electronic Brokerage.  TheMuniCenter is the largest web-based B2B
 marketplace for municipal securities with an average of 4,500 postings daily.
 By combining the efficiencies of the Internet with the inventory and
 distribution capacity of 400 participating firms, TheMuniCenter offers
 industry participants open access to municipal and government bond trading in
 a centralized environment, providing opportunity for price discovery as well
 as instantaneous executions and trade confirmations.  It also combines the
 best characteristics of trading via the Internet with an experienced team of
 product support representatives to assist customers.  TheMuniCenter is
 committed to developing the industry's leading open platform for B2B fixed
 income trading.  For more information about TheMuniCenter, visit
 http://www.themunicenter.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X15113266
 
 

SOURCE TheMuniCenter
    NEW YORK, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- TheMuniCenter
 (http://www.themunicenter.com), the largest web-based platform for trading
 municipal securities, today announced the addition of Financial Security
 Assurance (FSA) and Lehman Brothers as strategic investors in the electronic
 trading platform.
     As part of their strategic investment, FSA, a major municipal bond
 insurer, and Lehman Brothers, a major brokerage firm, will have representation
 on TheMuniCenter's Board of Directors, joining founding firms Merrill Lynch &
 Co, Morgan Stanley, Salomon Smith Barney and Chapdelaine & Co.
     "The addition of Lehman Brothers as a strategic partner allows us to
 provide our customers with an even larger and more diverse inventory of fixed
 income securities while FSA's presence will provide clients with the ability
 to access on-line municipal bond insurance," said Thomas Vales, CEO of
 TheMuniCenter.  "The addition of these two firms as strategic investors
 further solidifies our investor base while complementing the product mix from
 the 400 firms using the site.  This is one more step in our effort to provide
 participants with all their market needs in one centralized location."
     "Lehman Brothers has been very impressed by the quality of
 'TheMuniCenter's technology and its senior management's vision for building a
 vibrant municipal bond platform.  We also believe that the capability and
 commitment of the ownership to provide TheMuniCenter with broad inventory and
 liquidity is setting it apart from other electronic vehicles," said Gary
 Killian, Managing Director and head of Lehman's Municipal Product Group.
     "We like the business model, management and our new partners, " said Sean
 W. McCarthy, President of Financial Security Assurance.  "The technology is
 impressive and we are working with their staff to develop the ability to offer
 secondary market insurance on-line.  We are very enthusiastic about the
 prospects for TheMuniCenter."
     TheMuniCenter platform, launched in July 2000, offers users the ability to
 trade anonymously municipal bonds and, more recently, U.S. Treasury bonds,
 bills and notes, in a live, centralized trading environment.  Customers can
 access news, analytics, and conduct customized searches to find specific types
 of issues and can execute transactions using click-through trading technology.
     "We are excited to add industry leaders to our ownership group at such an
 integral time in our platform's growth," said Vales.  "We are continuing with
 our plans to expand TheMuniCenter's functionality and product range and to
 develop the premier open platform for trading fixed income securities, with
 equal and efficient access and without restrictions, quotas or exclusive
 arrangements, to all qualified financial industry participants.  We believe
 this approach presents substantial benefits to the entire market -- both
 investors and dealers."
     TheMuniCenter continues to experience growth in viewers and transactions.
 The platform has more than 4,000 approved viewers from more than 400 financial
 institutions accessing the system.
 
     About TheMuniCenter
     TheMuniCenter is a service of Chapdelaine & Co.  It was established in
 July 2000 by Merrill Lynch & Co, Morgan Stanley, Salomon Smith Barney and
 Chapdelaine Electronic Brokerage.  TheMuniCenter is the largest web-based B2B
 marketplace for municipal securities with an average of 4,500 postings daily.
 By combining the efficiencies of the Internet with the inventory and
 distribution capacity of 400 participating firms, TheMuniCenter offers
 industry participants open access to municipal and government bond trading in
 a centralized environment, providing opportunity for price discovery as well
 as instantaneous executions and trade confirmations.  It also combines the
 best characteristics of trading via the Internet with an experienced team of
 product support representatives to assist customers.  TheMuniCenter is
 committed to developing the industry's leading open platform for B2B fixed
 income trading.  For more information about TheMuniCenter, visit
 http://www.themunicenter.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X15113266
 
 SOURCE  TheMuniCenter