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BancBoston Net analyst to depart for Highland

Keith Benjamin, known throughout the industry for his Internet stock picks, is expected to join Boston-based venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners, sources confirm.

BancBoston Robertson Stephens research analyst Keith Benjamin, known throughout the industry for his Internet stock picks, is expected to join Boston-based venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners, sources familiar with the situation confirmed.

Sources said they expect the company to fill Benjamin's position internally. Representatives from BancBoston Robertson Stephens and Highland Capital Partners declined comment.

Benjamin is one of the more high-profile Internet analysts, partly because of his weekly newsletters about the companies he covers and his analyst notes posted on Robertson Stephens's Internetstocks.com Web site. His company picks include an array of Internet high-fliers, such as eBay, America Online, Priceline.com, and Yahoo.

The addition of Benjamin will give Highland Capital a much-needed boost for its West Coast presence, according to reports.

Highland Capital Partners has investments in a number of Internet notables, including Web portal Lycos, Quote.com (which Lycos acquired in September), search engine AskJeeves, and Web map service MapQuest.com.

The departure was first reported today by online financial news site TheStreet.com.