LONDON - HSBC Holdings PLC and Merrill Lynch & Co. Monday appointed a board of directors and a management team for the global online banking and investment services company that was announced April 18.

It will be a 50-50 partnership with a combined investment of $1 billion.

Keith Whitson, group chief executive of HSBC Holdings, will be chairman. Edward L. Goldberg, executive vice president of operations and services at Merrill Lynch, will be the interim chief executive officer.

Other directors are Roberta Arena, group general manager of global e-business at HSBC; Bill Dalton, chief executive of HSBC Bank PLC; James Gorman, chief marketing officer of Merrill Lynch; Alan Jebson, group information technology director at HSBC; Michael Marks, executive chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and Winthrop Smith, president of Merrill Lynch's International Private Client Group.

On the company's management team during the start-up phase are Natan Moss, previously general manager of personal financial services at HSBC Bank, as chief operating officer; Simon Burrows, former senior executive of finance at HSBC Holdings, as chief financial officer; and Steve Falzone and Fergie Williams, both in charge of information technology. Mr. Falzone was director of technology in the international private-client group of Merrill Lynch Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and Mr. Williams was head of corporate systems at HSBC Bank.

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