Saturday, October 13, 2007

Merrill Lynch Stars Under 40 - 2006

Merrill Lynch Professionals Cited for Excellence By Three Publications

Osman Semerci,

Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Business and Financial News have cited for excellence ML professionals who are 40 and under.

Financial News, in its second annual ranking, said Osman Semerci, Merrill Lynch’s head of Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities (FICC), is the top “rising star” in Europe’s capital markets, heading a list of the 100 most talented in the securities industry under 40. Semerci placed third last year.

The Business, a monthly magazine based in the United Kingdom, called Semerci one of the “stars of tomorrow.” The magazine recounted that Semerci joined ML in 1992 as a consultant in the Geneva office of international private client and swiftly moved up the ranks. In 2003, he was made responsible for global markets in the Pacific Rim region, and was promoted to his current position this summer.

Antoine Colonna, Khuram Chaudhry

The Business also cites two Merrill Lynch researchers: Antoine Colonna, a luxury goods analyst and global coordinator of the luxury goods research team for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Khuram Chaudhry, a European quantitative strategist.

Lisa Carnoy
co-head of Equity Capital Markets Americas

When GE tapped Merrill Lynch as sole global bookrunner for the $2.6 billion sale of its stake in Genworth earlier this year, IDD noted that fingers on the Street pointed to Carnoy, who as the co-head of Merrill Lynch’s ECM business, specializes in the insurance and health-care industries.

It's not uncommon for ML’s ECM team to be working 10 deals at once, the magazine added, and Carnoy, a Harvard Business school grad, steers the firm's ECM professionals in both the United States and Latin America, along with co-head Dan Cummings.

“During this time her industry has changed drastically,” IDD said, and Carnoy, who received her BA in history, “appears to have the tendency to connect the dots and get ahead of trends.”

Eric Heaton
co-head of the Americas Financial Institutions Group

The FIG sector has been “hot, hot, hot” when it comes to M&A activity, IDD said, and it appears the same case could be made for Merrill Lynch's leading position in the M&A league tables for the FIG sector as of November. “A closer look at the firm's success reveals the fingerprints of Eric Heaton,” IDD said.

Heaton, who joined ML as an analyst directly after his graduation from Dartmouth College in 1989, worked his way up the ranks and today manages a team of 250 people across 10 countries, IDD said. “Given his own long-time service to the firm, Heaton's happy to note most of his team has been working together for nearly 10 years,” the magazine added.

Russell Stein
head of Global Corporate Finance

“Coming up with the right balance for a client's financing needs is often a sum of multiple markets,” IDD said, adding that it appears Stein has been an “apt student” at applying this during his thirteen years at Merrill Lynch. Tapped as the bank's treasurer at 35, Stein hasn't stopped there, IDD said.

Last year, Stein was named head of global corporate finance and now leads a team that spans Europe, Asia and the Americas and products that were unheard of just a decade or so ago, such as catastrophe bonds and sidecars (a leverage finance vehicle tailored to the insurance capital markets), IDD said.

During Stein's term, IDD noted that Merrill Lynch reentered the insurance capital markets after a 10-year hiatus, “but he may have turned most heads” when he put his team to work in an innovative use of Merrill Lynch's own balance sheet by structuring a $1.9 billion exchangeable security to help St. Paul/ Travelers Insurance divest its stake in the asset manager John Nuveen.

Amy Ellis-Simon
head of Multi-Product Sales

“Of all the achievers noted on this year's list,” IDD said, “perhaps none wear more hats than Amy Ellis-Simon,” who heads multi-product sales at Merrill Lynch.

A graduate of the University of Michigan in 1994 with a BA in History, Ellis-Simon joined Merrill Lynch as an analyst nearly 12 years ago.

“She's come up through the ranks rather quickly since then,” IDD said, and was a director of convertible-bond sales prior to being named to her current position. In fact, she was the first African American woman to be named a managing director at Merrill Lynch and is also head of the firm's equity markets diversity initiative.

Patrick Ramsey
Senior Managing Director

“Some M&A gurus concentrate on a single industry while others, like Merrill Lynch's Patrick Ramsey, keep their hands in several pots,” IDD said.

In his 17 years at the firm, Ramsey has racked up M&A transactions in the chemicals, consumer and retail sectors, among others, the magazine said.

It added that according to ML, from the beginning of 2005 through September 2006, Ramsey has advised on 19 completed or pending M&A transactions for a total transaction value of more than $80 billion.

Greg Margolies
head of Americas Leveraged Finance Origination

One of a select group making it right at the age cutoff, Greg Margolies has straddled leverage finance from both sides of saddle in his career, first at Merrill Lynch and then at the Carlyle Group, and now at Merrill again, IDD said.

It added that Margolies came back to the investment banking side in June 2003 and just a year later was appointed head of America's Leveraged Finance Origination for the firm.

His influence is quite evident, IDD said, as Merrill Lynch moved from 11th in the league tables for high yield corporate debt in 2003 to fourth, as of November 2006, with some $12.2 billion in underwriting. His team's market share in high yield bond volume increased 185 percent over the same time period, IDD said.

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