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Prescient expands into US CDs

Prescient, a pioneer of direct debt issuance over the internet, intends to expand into other products in the coming months, with the next target being certificates of deposits in the US.

Laurent Paulhac

Prescient Markets is a pioneer of direct debt issuance over the internet through, which specializes in offerings of new commercial paper by large, regular issuers. The company launched in February 1999 after CEO Laurent Paulhac put together a business plan focused on the short-term debt markets. The initial reaction to the concept of internet distribution from potential backers was moderately encouraging. "I met with a handful of people in November and December '98 and the view was that it was an interesting idea," says Paulhac. "At the time many didn't think that the internet would be that great for this kind of business, but they felt that we had a good vision."

A group of companies under the auspices of the Direct Issuers Working Group (DIWG) liked the idea but felt that other potential providers should be allowed to pitch for the business.

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