NEW YORK, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MER)
today announced executive management changes it said would continue to
accelerate progress on key strategic initiatives, including those aimed at
taking advantage of financial services reform and worldwide growth
opportunities presented by e-commerce and the Internet.
John L. (Launny) Steffens, Vice Chairman of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., who
has guided the spectacular growth of the U.S. Private Client business since
1985, will become Chairman of U.S. Private Client and also will devote a
significant amount of time to his broader, companywide management
responsibilities as a member of Merrill Lynch's three-person Executive
Committee of the Board of Directors, on which he currently serves. This
Executive Committee is responsible for overseeing the corporation's global
business activities and consists of the three employee members of the Board.
The other members are Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David H. Komansky
and Vice Chairman Stephen L. Hammerman.
E. Stanley O'Neal, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer,
will succeed Mr. Steffens as President of the U.S. Private Client Group.
Thomas H. Patrick, Executive Vice President and Chairman, Special Advisory
Services, will succeed Mr. O'Neal as Chief Financial Officer.
"The passage of financial services reform and the Internet revolution
create vast new opportunities for Merrill Lynch," said Mr. Komansky. "With
the highly successful introduction of our comprehensive new platform of choice
for U.S. investors, Launny can now devote his enormous talents and energy to
the next wave of strategic development both for Private Client and Merrill
Lynch-at-large. In Stan and Tom we have outstanding executives who are ready
to assume these new roles. This is a perfect time for these changes."
Among his new responsibilities as Vice Chairman of Merrill Lynch, Mr.
Steffens, 58, will be the senior executive relationship manager for companies
and high net worth individuals in the technology, telecommunications, and
Mr. Steffens also will focus on the company's global banking strategy.
With the passage of financial services reform in the U.S. and the advance of
deregulation globally, Mr. Steffens will oversee the coordination of efforts
to create banking products and services that will enable the company to better
serve its clients worldwide.
Additionally, Mr. Steffens will guide company-wide initiatives to
significantly expand the firm's activities in the area of private equity,
including the company's direct investments.
"Launny Steffens is widely regarded as a visionary in financial services,"
said Mr. Komansky. "The best measure of his extraordinary leadership is the
fact that assets entrusted to Merrill Lynch by our U.S. clients have risen to
$1.3 trillion from $189 billion in 1985."
During 1999, Mr. Steffens led the design and launch of a new business
model in U.S. Private Client, offering an unprecedented array of choices to
Merrill Lynch clients, including robust Internet channels. This new offering
has accelerated the growth of client assets, and the company took in a record
$36 billion of new client assets during the fourth quarter of 1999.
"Launny's intellect and drive are legendary, and have long influenced the
firm's global business strategies," said Mr. Komansky. "In his new role, he
will be in position to contribute even more broadly to the future success of
E. Stanley O'Neal Named President, U.S. Private Client Group
Succeeding Mr. Steffens as President of U.S. Private Client is E. Stanley
O'Neal, 48, who has served as Chief Financial Officer since 1998. He was
elected an Executive Vice President in 1997 when he was named Co-Head of the
Corporate and Institutional Client Group.
"Stan O'Neal brings exceptional leadership skills, strategic ability and
proven business acumen to U.S. Private Client," said Mr. Komansky. "He is
ideally suited to lead the premier retail brokerage network in the world."
Mr. Steffens said, "Having spent most of his career at Merrill Lynch
working directly with clients, Stan O'Neal understands that the essence of our
business is the client relationship, and that the role our Financial
Consultants play is at the very heart of our success. I look forward to
working with him to advance our great franchise."
Mr. O'Neal joined Merrill Lynch's Investment Banking group in 1986, with
client responsibilities in a variety of areas, including high yield, project
finance and equity private placement. He headed the Capital Markets Group,
working with clients worldwide on debt and equity new issues, and the Investor
Strategies Group (ISG), which provides specialized portfolio consulting and
investment advisory services to institutional clients.
The U.S. Private Client business includes 14,200 Financial Consultants and
more than 700 branch offices. The Group serves individuals, small businesses
and employee benefit plans, using a planning-based approach to provide asset,
liability and transition management services.
Thomas H. Patrick Named Chief Financial Officer
Mr. O'Neal will be succeeded as Chief Financial Officer by Thomas H.
Patrick, Executive Vice President and Chairman, Special Advisory Services.
Mr. Patrick, 56, previously served as CFO in 1989 and 1990. Mr. Patrick
headed the Merrill Lynch Insurance Group from 1990 to 1992 and Equity Markets
from 1992 to 1994. He currently serves as one of the company's senior-most
investment bankers, responsible for relationships with selected corporate
clients. He joined Merrill Lynch in 1978 with the acquisition of investment
bank White, Weld & Co.
"Tom Patrick is a seasoned executive, who has served as an innovative and
trusted financial advisor, both within Merrill Lynch and on behalf of our
clients, " said Mr. Komansky. "Tom's previous management experience as Chief
Financial Officer and in other capacities enables him to assume immediate
responsibility for the company's financial management activities."
Mr. Patrick has had wide experience in the financial services industry,
including commercial banking, investment banking and insurance. He has
advised numerous major corporations on financing strategy, structure and
techniques. He was co-inventor of Merrill Lynch's proprietary LYONS(TM)
product, and introduced many corporate issuers to its advantages.
The Chief Financial Officer oversees these functions: Corporate Audit,
Corporate Services, Corporate Risk Management, Finance, Investor Relations,
Tax and Treasury functions.
SOURCE Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.