JDV, Sanford parent in merger bid

Listed online brokers IWL and E*Trade are investigating a possible $500 million merger that will challenge CommSec as the major player in the industry. IWL and E*Trade are the second and third largest players in online broking, which is enjoying a buoyant time with the Australian sharemarket reaching the landmark 5,000 mark. IWL has strong Western Australian links, having acquired online trading pioneer Sanford Securities in April 2003, and more recently the Hartley Poynton spun-off JDV in October last year. Both Sanford and JDV are fully owned subsidiaries of IWL with headquarters in Perth. JDV provide online equities platforms and services to Perth wealth management firm, Entrust Private Wealth Management, BT Financial Group and Suncorp Metway amongst others. While IWL has led the consolidation of online trading companies in Australia, CommSec, has also made acquisitions in AOT Online and TD Waterhouse Australia.

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