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Goldman mines research

Goldman Sachs offers a new online research service to its investors, becoming the latest brokerage house to provide electronic information to high-tech bulls and bears.

Goldman Sachs today offered a new online research service to its investors, becoming the latest brokerage house to provide electronic information to high-tech bulls and bears.

In this service, called Research Xpress, investors receive passwords to enter the network, where they can find Goldman Sachs research reports, analysts' estimates and comments, a research-filled newspaper updated twice daily, and a database that can be searched by such key items as stock tickers and analyst names. The service is free to Goldman clients.

Montgomery Securities last month opened a Web site that would give clients access to its research reports online. And like Goldman's service, customers are able to get research information by entering a password to enter the database of materials.

But Jack Salzman, research marketing and product development director and a Goldman partner, contends that competitors don't have his company's breadth of information.

"I don't think anyone has this global reach and depth with this newspaper as we do. It's compiled twice daily and combines all the research from our global staff," Salzman said. The Goldman newspaper, GS Worldwide, features research information from all the firm's offices, he said.

The project, which has been in development for several months, was initiated after institutional investors began asking for more direct access to research information, Salzman said. He added that customers who relied on third-party research firms like First Call wanted to quickly assess where Goldman's analysts stood on a company, rather than wait for a consensus.

"It will cost us some additional money to offer this to our client base, but we want to be responsive to clients," Salzman said.