December 4, 2000 - Datek Online Brokerage Services LLC, a subsidiary of Datek Online Holdings Corp., today became the first major online brokerage firm to allow its customers to direct Nasdaq trades to the Electronic Communications Network (ECN) or market maker of their choice. "We have developed Datek Direct* at the request of many active customers, who want the flexibility to select the execution venue for their orders," said Ed Nicoll, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Datek Online Holdings Corp. "These investors want the ability to choose an ECN or market maker based on their own selection criteria." Datek Online customers will continue to have the ability to bypass Datek Direct and utilize Datek's highly acclaimed intelligent order-routing system. Customers who enable their accounts for Datek Direct have five routing options: 1. Island only: Limit orders can be routed to The Island ECN, Inc., an affiliated alternative trading system that offers one of the deepest and most liquid markets for Nasdaq stocks. 2. Nasdaq SelectNet to an ECN of their choice: Customers can route their limit orders over SelectNet directly to ECNs such as Archipelago, Instinet and others. 3. Nasdaq SelectNet to a market maker: Customers can choose to have their orders presented to one of hundreds of competing market makers in the Nasdaq system. 4. SOES: If SOES (Small Order Execution System) eligible, marketable limit orders or market orders entered into the (SOES) are routed to a market participant whose bid or offer matches the National Best Bid or Offer (NBBO). Market makers participating in SOES are assigned executions on a rotating basis. 5. They also may choose Datek Online's automatic intelligent order-routing system, which ordinarily handles Datek trades. Furthermore, to enhance the speed and quality of execution, all orders routed through Datek Direct will be checked against the price on The Island ECN to determine if a customer's price can be matched or improved upon. The first phase of Datek Direct applies to Nasdaq securities. In the future, customers will have the ability to route listed transactions.