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Merrill’s Global Emerging Markets Head Departs

Merrill Lynch's head of global emerging markets, George Handjinicolaou, who was responsible for foreign exchange, fixed income and credit derivatives, has left the firm. Handjinicolaou said he left late last month because of differences in opinion with the new management over business philosophy. He declined to elaborate. His responsibilities have been assumed by David Lund, head of global credit trading. Lund could not be reached for comment. Jessica Oppenheim, a Merrill spokeswoman, declined comment.

According to an emerging market debt capital markets banker at the firm, Merrill is streamlining its reporting lines and has gotten rid of some of the management hierarchy. He said the firm did not see a need for Handjinicolaou's position. "We want managers that produce, not administrators," he added. There have been other layoffs in fixed-income trading, research and sales across the board. "We're culling folks not considered top performers," he said. He declined to detail exactly how many staff were let go.

Handjinicolaou joined Merrill in July last year from Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, where he had been head of global markets. As of last June, he had been heading Merrill's effort to reorganize its emerging markets debt business to better manage risk and product distribution by bringing its regional operations under one umbrella.

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