Merrill Lynch has established a new Pacific-Rim equity platform, unifying its Asia-Pacific and Japan equity operations into a single unit. The announcement is line with the firmÆs global strategy of integrating its businesses.

The new Pacific-Rim equity platform will be lead by Nigel Beattie and Yasuhiro Fujiwara, which Merrill Lynch have appointed co-heads. In their newly-created roles, both internal appointees will report to Jason Brand, president of Pacific-Rim global markets and investment banking group (GMI) and to Rohit DÆSouza, head of global equities and AmericaÆs global markets.

Beattie, previously MerrillÆs head of Pacific-Rim equity investor client group, will focus his attention on the Asia-Pacific area, while Fujiwara, its former head of Japan equity trading, will take responsibility specfically for Japan.

According to Merrill Lynch, by unifying its Pacific-Rim equity structure, it will be able to use resources more efficiently and this will result in the faster roll out of new trading platforms and marketing strategies. Merrill says it will also enable the bank to have broader regional correlation trading books.