Alan Patricof, 64
Chairman, Patricof & Co. Ventures Inc.
"The dissemination of secure documents over the Internet will have a profound effect on the more formal side of the financial services business: loan syndication, private placements, red herrings and prospectuses . . ."If it sweeps into the public offering of prospectuses, it will change the whole nature of the business. I don't know if companies like Bowne & Co. and R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. are sitting around shivering, but they are certainly focusing on what implications that's going to have . . . "Electronic trading networks are evolving that give people the ability to trade directly with each other. They are going to narrow spreads and create threats to the major trading networks. The Nasdaq, the American Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange are going to have to deal with electronic trading. Who knows whether the exchanges will become an anachronism? The Internet or something akin to that may fulfill the function more efficiently.
"I don't think it is there yet, but it is certainly a possibility in the future -- just like shopping centers and department stores have to be concerned about becoming redundant.
"We are clearly in a phase of enormous consolidation. The trend toward mergers is unlike anything I've seen in the last 30 years, and I don't see this trend abating.
"In Europe you will see massive consolidation.
"Traditionally what's happened is 10 years from now they will start disassembling. History would say it's tough to assimilate the Romes of the world. People have their eyes open when they make these acquisitions."