Merrill Lynch has signed an agreement to acquire the Chilean equity brokerage firm, Ureta y Bianchi Corredores de Bolsa, as part of a plan to build a broad, wholly owned global markets and investment banking platform in Chile.

According to the company, the acquisition provides a platform to grow the global markets and investment banking (GMI) business as opportunities develop across the full suite of Merrill Lynch’s capabilities in fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) and investment banking.

The brokerage will be renamed to incorporate the Merrill Lynch brand name. Francisco Ossa, one of Ureta y Bianchi’s partners, will head Merrill Lynch Chile’s local equity business and will be joined by the other Ureta y Bianchi partners, Manuel Ureta, Alfredo Ureta and Ignacio Perez.

Hans Trautmann, Merrill Lynch’s senior fixed income banker based in Santiago, will oversee the development of FICC business in the country. Daniel Gonzalez will continue as the head of the Southern Cone countries, overseeing Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.

James Quigley, president of Latin America and Canada at Merrill Lynch, said: The acquisition of Ureta y Bianchi is consistent with our long-term strategy of pursuing a broad Latin American business platform that spans multiple countries, asset classes, industry sectors and clients.