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Virgin online venture to shake market

Richard Branson&#39s Virgin empire is set to launch an online financial brokerage that could guide the way financial services products are punted in the future.

Among the avalanche of new financial web sites looks likely to be the most ambitious yet.

Expected to go live in the second half of the year, it aims to offer comprehensive information on financial products across the board, and to give surfers a chance to buy on the spot from a panel of providers.

Virgin, whose Virgin Direct arm has consistently championed index trackers, is in talks with a number of investment houses with a view to selling their actively-managed funds through the new site.

Marketing director, Tony Wood, denies that the plans are a U-turn . He says: “The very nature of the internet is that any company that wants to thrive and survive has to constantly reinvent itself.”


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