Building The Perfect Shareholder

IPO issuers want to use the Net to weed out stock-flippers

Internet investment banks have a problem, and its name, at least symbolically, is Mark L. Walsh. The CEO of Web publisher VerticalNet Inc. has a tart assessment of the shareholders most likely to be drawn to initial public offerings over the Web: "Ralph from a trading room in Detroit," he sneers. Like many other CEOs, he worries that he could end up with fast-trading shareholders who would handicap his efforts to build a company by slamming his stock around like a Ping-Pong ball.

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