Three Merrill Lynch portfolio managers working in the firm's Los Angeles office have resigned, a company spokesperson said last week.

Sarah Ketterer, Harry Hartford and James Doyle manage the Mercury HW International Value Fund, which is one of ten funds Merrill Lynch of New York picked up in its 1996 acquisition of Hotchkis & Wiley of Los Angeles. Last year, the funds were rebranded under the Mercury brand.

The company declined to comment on why the managers may have resigned, but said they will remain with the firm for at least two more weeks.

Ketterer, Hartford and Doyle manage a total of $3.2 billion in assets, $1.4 of which is held in the Mercury HW International Value Fund. The remaining assets are held in institutional accounts, the spokesperson said.

The management of the fund and those accounts may be handed over to a manager in the firm's London office, according to the spokesperson.

Currently, Merrill Lynch executives are examining redundancies between the group's London, New York and Los Angeles offices and "considering strategic options which may or may not include a sale [of the former Hotchkis & Wiley firm]," the spokesperson said.

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