Thursday, September 13, 2007

Merrill Lynch - Organization Structure - Evolution

Merrill Lynch evolves to changing market

Craig Phillips

Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM) has created four distinct distribution divisions to replace its existing wholesale/retail configuration and has honed its sales structure by appointing a single head for the area.

The move sees head of retail distribution, Damien Frawley, assume responsibility for group wide distribution under the new structure, while institutional distribution head Con Michalakis left the firm at the beginning of the week.

“In the past group’s had institutional and retail distribution teams but the lines have blurred between these two areas and the gatekeepers are all asking the same questions so it make sense to move to this structure,” MLIM managing director and co-chief investment officer, Maurice O'Shannassy said.

Under the new structure Frawley will look after the four areas - retail sales, institutional account management, middle markets and consultants and researchers.

The group also announced today that fixed income product manager Vincent Lo Blanco would have a widened mandate within the firm after being appointed to head the consultant and researcher distribution group, and will report to Frawley.

O'Shannassy said the changes were also part of the firm’s bid to meet the evolving demands of the market.

“The market has been mutating for the past several years, forcing groups to continually look at their sales structures to ensure they are properly aligned.

“One of the things that is very clear is that research houses, consultants and fund of funds need to have dedicated and senior resources assigned to them,” O'Shannassy said.

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