After Two-Year Search, O'Neal Selected to Fill Vacancy

After a two-year search, Merrill Lynch & Co. has promoted from within to fill the vacancy of president and chief operating officer: E. Stanley O'Neal, most recently president of Merrill's U.S. Private Client Group (USPC), assumes the helm immediately. The posts have remained unmanned since the July 1999 retirement of Herbert Allison, with Allison's duties shared by CEO David Komansky, and vice chairmen Stephen Hammerman and John Steffens Jr.

'There are no decisions made on Mr. O'Neal's replacement yet,' said firm spokesperson Rich Silverman. 'He will continue to oversee it until we name a successor to him.'

USPC has had other shifts in recent months. In November of last year, Michael Feigeles became first VP of the investment consulting group, assuming responsibility for both the managed asset and outside mutual fund groups. In January, senior director first VP Alan Sislen, who headed the managed asset portion of the group, left to start his own consulting firm, Managed Account Perspectives.

O'Neal has been with Merrill Lynch since 1986, where he started in investment banking. In a career track typical of executives at the firm, O'Neal has enjoyed stints at many business units, including high-yield finance and restructuring, capital-markets, and the corporate and institutional client group. O'Neal served as chief financial officer from March of 1998 until his appointment as president of USPC in February of last year.

'Through his broad experience across the many facets of our business, Stan O'Neal has demonstrated keen strategic vision and a great ability to inspire and lead people,' said Komansky. 'In every position he has held at Merrill Lynch, he has shown a passion for excellence and market leadership.'

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