Merrill Lynch/HSBC Strategic Alliance

On December 5, 2000, Merrill Lynch HSBC Limited—a global online investment services and banking company owned by New York-based Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and London’s HSBC Holdings plc—acquired HSBC InvestDirect (Canada) Inc. and launched Merrill Lynch HSBC Canada Inc. The new brokerage starts with a base of approximately 70,000 clients who were already signed on with Canadian online investment dealer HSBC InvestDirect (Canada) Inc., and then switched over to the new joint venture.

Merrill Lynch HSBC Canada Inc. is the first in a series of online trading ventures to be launched globally by the two financial service giants. Among the services offered by the Canadian operation is a hybrid account which provides customers access to cash and available margin in non-registered trading accounts through chequing or debit card transations. Merrill Lynch HSBC Canada Inc. will also give clients access to about 1,200 mutual funds, and it will be adding online trading of fixed income instruments next year.

Merrill Lynch HSBC Limited, Merrill Lynch HSBC Canada Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. were represented by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. The Davies team was comprised of Patricia Olasker (securities), Tom Smee (corporate/securities), Scott Hyman (banking), Robert Murphy (corporate) and Lindsey Hutton (securities). Also assisting were Colin Campbell (tax), Lori Cornwall (consumer protection), Mark Hayes (privacy), Mark Katz (competition), Patrick Monahan (labour & pensions) and Donald Stanbury (real estate). Merrill Lynch HSBC Limited in the UK was represented by in-house counsel Warren Leaming. Merrill Lynch Canada was represented by in-house counsel, Brad Doney, Lynn Korbak and Nick Cardinale. Merrill Lynch HSBC Canada Inc. was represented by Joanne Sewell.

HSBC Bank Canada was represented by Debra Sing, Q.C., Roger McConchie and Jason Brooks of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, together with in-house counsel at HSBC Bank Canada, Annelle Wilkins and Ruth Chang.