AUSTIN-A 16-year-old broker dealer, Choice Investments Inc., will merge with FundsXpress, reportedly forging the largest independent broker-dealer teaming in central TX.Northwest Austin-based Choice Investments, which employs 40, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Choice Asset Management.

With the merger, the brokerage firm will grab a piece of Internet real estate, establishing FX Securities Online to FundsXpress’ 500-customer base. FundsXpress is an e-commerce banking company.

FX Securities, which launches later this month, will provide a platform for company research, real-time stock quotes, charting, trading and portfolio management. FundsXpress has closed more than $40 million new investments this year and is aggressively bent on acquisitions. In late 1999, the company secured Integrated Business Systems, a mortgage lender based in Memphis; July brought the buyout of, a TX operation with advanced portal technology.

FundsXpress is building a “first-generation total end-to-end solution” for its customers, which is anticipated to be up and running by year’s end.

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