Due to what sources say are conflict of interest issues, Ernst & Young is said to be closing its financial advisory services unit, a move that would eliminate several hundred positions and leave clients scrambling.

Full details of the alleged conflict and the scope of the potential change could not be determined, as calls to several E&Y executives, including Steven Buller, director of investments, Andrew Kyriacou and Charles "Chuck" Kowal, managing partners, were not returned. An E&Y spokeswoman declined comment.

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