PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrill Lynch today announced that
its Group Employee Services division has been selected to provide a range of
401(k) plan services for the 70,000 eligible employees of Dillard's Inc., a
leading national department store chain based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Dillard's acquisition of the former Mercantile Stores Company, completed
in August 1998, necessitated a merger of their current retirement plan,
previously administered by Federated Investors, Inc. of Pittsburgh, and the
Mercantile Stores plan, which had been administered by Towers Perrin.
"Consolidating the two plans created an opportunity for us to seek a new
401(k) provider that could best meet our employees' retirement needs," said
John Hawkins, Vice President and Treasurer of Dillard's. "We selected Merrill
Lynch for its reputation for integrity, flexibility and service, as well as
its local presence in branch offices across the country. The plan provides
unmatched flexibility in investment options, state-of-the-art recordkeeping,
and a broad range of employee education tools."
In addition to Dillard's, Merrill Lynch provides a full range of 401(k)
and benefits services to some of the largest companies in the U.S., including
Wal-Mart, DuPont, Coca-Cola, Daimler-Chrysler and KPMG-Peat Marwick.
"We are pleased that Dillard's selected Merrill Lynch to help shape its
employee benefits agenda for the 21st century," said Patrick J. Walsh, Senior
Vice President, Merrill Lynch Group Employee Services. "We look forward to
working with Dillard's to design a flexible investment menu and education
program that will empower its employees to take control of their financial
With more than $163 billion in retirement plan assets and 3.4 million
individual participants, Merrill Lynch Group Employee Services serves large-,
middle- and small-market company employee benefit plans and is the third
largest provider of retirement plan services in the U.S.
Merrill Lynch is one of the world's leading financial management and
advisory companies with offices in more than 41 countries and total client
assets exceeding $1.4 trillion. As an investment bank, it is the top global
underwriter and market maker of debt and equity securities and a leading
strategic advisor to corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals
worldwide. Through Merrill Lynch Asset Management and Mercury Asset
Management the company is one of the world's largest managers of financial
SOURCE Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.