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Liquidnet-Funded Youth Village Opens Doors to 125 Students in Rwanda

Submitted by: Liquidnet

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Academia

Posted: Dec 16, 2008 – 07:20 AM EST


First Students Move into New Educational Community Built by Leading Financial Technology Firm

NEW YORK, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Liquidnet, the global institutional marketplace(TM), today announced that a 143 acre (58 hectare) youth residential and education complex, funded in part through the company's Global Social Engagement (GSE) program, has opened today to an inaugural class of 125 high school-aged residents. The community, named Agahozo Shalom Youth Village (ASYV), will be home to orphans primarily of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Liquidnet has donated USD$4.0 million in cash to the project as of 30 September 08 and, through a worldwide network of employees, untallied donations of goods and services. Liquidnet budgets one percent of its trailing revenues to fund its GSE initiatives, which are focused on conservation, social awareness and employee volunteerism.

The ASYV, whose name is a hybrid of the Kinyarwandan word Agahozo "dry their tears" and the Hebrew word shalom, "live in peace," has been in development for two years. The site overlooks Lake Mugesera in Rwanda's Eastern Province and includes 32 group homes, a complete high school, science and computer laboratories, land for organic farming, a reforestation program, 800-capacity dining hall, counseling and medical facilities and recreational fields.

"The Rwandan Genocide represents the failure of the global community to act. This Village represents what happens when people from around the world come together to provide a future of promise and optimism for these orphaned Rwandan youth,' said Seth Merrin, CEO of Liquidnet. "Giving is an integral part of our corporate culture. When we conceived of our GSE program, we wanted to go about it in a way that made as great an impact as possible on the future of the global community. We didn't simply want to write a check. Employee involvement in our programs is as important as the cause itself."

Patterned after communities established following the Holocaust in WWII, the Village is the first to follow this model in Rwanda. The Village will be an incubator for a range of innovative development practices. Built in conjunction with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Liquidnet intends the Village to serve as a successful model of education and capacity building for other parts of Africa and the developing world. Future plans include the construction of a conference center, allowing others from around the world to learn from the Village's model.

Mr. Merrin noted that more than half of Liquidnet's worldwide employees have in some way been involved with the Village's development, from fund raising efforts to on-the-ground assistance in Rwanda. A team of Liquidnet employees is currently on hand in Rwanda to welcome the Village's first residents and also build the technological infrastructure for the site, including the creation of a wireless computer network across the campus.

"It's more than a school; it's more than a small town. It's a new beginning for a country that has the world's highest per capita orphan population," states Brian Walsh, Director of Liquidnet's GSE program. "The scale of this project is unprecedented, and the possibilities for having a real impact on the lives of these young people, as well as the ripple effect on the entire country, are enormously exciting."

"High school-aged children have been the most likely to slip through the cracks of Rwandan society in the years following the genocide. They simply haven't received what all youth need to succeed – education, support and nurturing," says Walsh. "This Village community, its staff, facilities and curriculum are focused on taking these students from the margins of society and turning them into future leaders for their nation."

"Success in business comes in part from maintaining perspective," says Merrin. "Through our GSE program and projects like the Village, we encourage all our employees to see success as being part of something larger than their own self interest. Success is about making a difference."

Classes at the Village's new high school begin in January.

For more information about Liquidnet's revolutionary Global Social Engagement program and the Village visit http://www.liquidnet.com/about/social_engagement.html or http://www.agahozo-shalom.org. Photos available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/agahozoshalom.

About Liquidnet
Liquidnet is an electronic marketplace that facilitates institutional equities trading for asset management firms worldwide. By giving buy-side traders a first look at a global natural liquidity pool of more than 8.74 billion shares ($94.7 billion in principal) per day of liquidity on average, Liquidnet consolidates and delivers the institutional equities market directly to the desktops of more than 550 buy-side trading firms (as of 30 September 2008). Institutional investors use the Liquidnet marketplace to enhance the quality and speed of trade execution, gain price improvement for their trades, and, ultimately, lower overall trading costs. Launched in 2001, Liquidnet now trades in 29 equity markets across five continents. Liquidnet is headquartered in New York with offices in London, Toronto, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore. Additional company information is available online at www.liquidnet.com.

(C)2008 Liquidnet Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Liquidnet, Inc. is a member of FINRA/SIPC. Liquidnet Europe Limited is regulated by the U.K. Financial Services Authority and is a member of the London Stock Exchange. Liquidnet Canada Inc. is a member of IIROC and a member of CIPF. Liquidnet Asia Limited is regulated by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission as a licensed dealer and a provider of automated trading services pursuant to the Securities and Futures Ordinance and is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a Recognized Market Operator. Liquidnet Japan Inc. is regulated by the Financial Services Agency of Japan and is a member of JSDA/JIPF. Liquidnet Australia Pty Ltd. is a licensed corporation under the Corporations Act of Australia, AFSL number 312525.

For more information, please contact:

Brian Walsh Liquidnet
Phone: +1-646-674-2133
Thomas J. Basile Middleberg Communications
Phone: +1-212-812-5668


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