13/11/2007 - 22:00

Goh, Bell Potter launch broker

13/11/2007 - 22:00

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In the same week as the Commonwealth Bank consolidated its position as Australia’s biggest online stockbroker by acquiring IWL Limited, industry pioneer Steven Goh has emerged with a new low-cost service.

In the same week as the Commonwealth Bank consolidated its position as Australia’s biggest online stockbroker by acquiring IWL Limited, industry pioneer Steven Goh has emerged with a new low-cost service.

Mr Goh, who was the founder of Australia’s first online broking service, Sanford Securities, in 1997, is executive chairman and principal architect of Bell Direct.

He has teamed up with Melbourne-based Bell Group, which is the parent company of stockbroking firm Bell Potter Securities.

Bell Group is in the midst of an $85 million initial public offering under the name Bell Financial Group.

Investors in Bell Direct include Wyllie Group executive director Craig Coleman, whose previous roles have included being a director of ANZ Bank’s online broking arm E*Trade.

Bell Direct will undercut its rivals by offering online trades for just $15, and will also introduce a range of new services and technology features.

The company aims to be one of the top three online brokers in Australia in three to five years.

Its main competitor is Commonwealth Bank. It runs the Commonwealth Securities service and this week secured board control of IWL, which bought Sanford in 2003.

Mr Goh said the technology used by online brokers was now old and unreliable.

“After the launch of Sanford, a lot of online brokers appeared, too many in fact,” Mr Goh said in a statement.

“And as a result, in the past year or so, the market has become too comfortable.

“Price competition and great client service have virtually disappeared.”

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