A Florida-based law firm has initiated an investigation into the sales practices used to promote two aggressive Merrill Lynch & Co. mutual funds, the Merrill Lynch Focus Twenty Fund and Merrill Lynch Premier Growth Fund.

The announcement of the investigation comes one day after The Wall Street Journal reported that James McCall, the manager of both funds, resigned from Merrill ( MFMN 11/7/01). The Focus Twenty Fund is down 71% so far this year, and the Premier Growth Fund is down 54%, according to Morningstar.

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