Will Develop, Host $1 Billion Merrill Lynch Venture

[London, ENGLAND] Online financial information service
announced Wednesday it has signed a multi-million dollar agreement
to develop and host a $1 billion strategic venture for Merrill Lynch
HSBC, aimed at online “self directed” investors.

The new, global service will reach clients in the U.K., Canada,
Australia, Japan, Germany, and France, and provide access to
information from both Merrill Lynch and HSBC.

Two types of Web sites are being planned for the new venture.

There will be “prospect sites” for prospective clients of
Merrill Lynch HSBC, providing access to research and market
data on a limited trial basis. In addition, “client sites”
will be integrated with Merrill Lynch HSBC’s client offering
and provide a full service.

Brooks Gibbins, managing director of Europe, said
that his company’s technology and financial information
distribution capabilities were the cornerstone of the

“ will help Merrill Lynch HSBC to provide a global
Internet service to the fast evolving self-directed investor
market. This is a multi-tiered and evolutionary deal which
represents a substantial and strategic partnership for,” said Gibbins.

Jon Kessler, Merrill Lynch HSBC European business development
director, said that the provision of research to self-directed
investors is a key component of his company’s global offering
— and will deliver it with the immediacy and
convenience of the Internet.

Operating globally, provides the tools used by
investors who need information to support their decisions.
It provides real-time, Web-based financial applications
to institutional investors — with MultexNET reaching over
750 firms such as Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney and
RS Investment Management — as well as to individual
investors via a network of branded and affiliate sites.

Over two million members have registered for Multex Investor,
while Sage Online and Market Guide have 1.6 million unique users.
Among’s information and distribution partners are:
Reuters, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, AOL, Yahoo!,, CBS
MarketWatch and

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