People: Merrill Lynch HSBC poaches Canadian bank exec

People: Merrill Lynch HSBC poaches Canadian bank exec

Margaret Barrett, former executive vice president of consumer lending at the Bank of Montreal, has been named as chief executive of the new online bank launched by Merrill Lynch and HSBC.

Barrett joins the company on 1 January 2001, replacing Edward Goldberg, who has served as acting chief executive officer over the past eight months. Goldberg, an EVP of operations services at Merrill Lynch, will remain a member of the Merrill Lynch HSBC Board.

Barret's appointment follows the launch earlier this week of the combined company's online equity research offer for UK private investors and the start of a full self-directed service in Canada. The company also plans to begin its operations in Australia on 18 December. A full service bank is expected to be launched in the UK in the first quarter, 2001. By 2005, it is anticipated that the Merrill Lynch HSBC service will be fully operational in up to 20 countries worldwide.

Prior to joining BMO, Barrett held senior posts within GE Capital Services and AT&T. In her new position, she will be based at Merrill Lynch HSBC's London headquarters office. Commenting on the move, she says: "Providing wealth management services for the self-directed investor in one totally integrated banking and investment account will, I believe, be the future of financial services."

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