Fri, Jul 16, 2004 - Page 10 News List

MrTaiwan.com closing up

STAFF WRITER , WITH BLOOMBERG

Insight Pacific Investment Research (月涵投顧), an Internet-based equity research company founded by Peter Kurz, former Merrill Lynch & Co head of Taiwan research, said it's joining forces with an international equities firm and suspending the operations of MrTaiwan.com.

"The plan calls for team mem-bers to shift their employment to this international financial institution," the firm said in a statement.

The company will refund fees paid by 350 online subscribers, it said.

Insight Pacific has failed to pay employee salaries last month due to financial difficulties, a source at the company told the Taipei Times yesterday, confirming an earlier report in a Chinese-language newspaper.

"The company began to suspend its operation earlier this month and around 20 employees have not received their paychecks for last month," said the source, who declined to be named.

The source confirmed that Insight Pacific's researchers will join BNP Paribas in Taiwan, without giving a specific timeframe.

Kurz, a 46-year-old American, spent US$4 million to found his business after leaving Merrill in 2000.

But as local dotcom companies began to feel a chill in 2000 due to the downturn in the global economy, Kurz fired one-third of his staff in July 2001.

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