French banking group BNP Paribas is merging its execution-only online brokerage Cortal Consors with share trading advisory offshoot B*capital.
Cortal Consors was formed in May 2002, after the acquisition of the German online broker Consors by BNP Paribas which was merged with the French bank's Cortal subsidiary.
B*capital provides personalised stock consulting and management under mandate services to private investors. The service has 11,000 customers and manages 2.5 billion euros in France.
BNP Paribas says the merger will accelerate B*capital's growth in France with the aim of reaching EUR4 billion euros of assets under management by 2008.
B*capital customers will also be able to access Cortal Consors transaction processing platform. Benoit Gommard, CEO of Cortal Consors France, says the merger will also benefit Cortal customers that are "seeking advice and more coaching in their stock investments".
BNP Paribas says the merger will be completed by January 2005.