Want some free stock? Contact Ronald Dubin, chairman of Dubin Clark & Co., a Greenwich, Conn., leveraged-buyout firm. Through the end of March, Dubin Clark is offering 1% of its eventual equity stake (plus a standard commission) to anyone who leads the firm to a successful deal. "An LBO firm is known by the company it keeps," Dubin wrote in a September letter announcing the equity offer to approximately 1,000 business brokers. "And isn't it about time YOU also kept some of those companies?"

Dubin is trying to make his firm stand out in today's crowded LBO market. He's done that, but will he get good deals? It's too early to tell. "We've heard from some people we don't usually hear from," he says. "They are all very warm and fuzzy responses." But, hey, if this doesn't work, he can always try giving away toasters.

-- Martha E. Mangelsdorf

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