Job Wrap: Moves afoot at Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs

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Merrill Lynch flagged hiring plans week, while Goldman Sachs shuffled investment banking.

Bringing the bulge back

In an interview last week, Ahmass Fakahany, chief financial officer at Merrill Lynch, said the bank plans to hire brokers, investment bankers and commodity traders in 2005. This follows 23,500 job cuts at the bank between 2000 and 2003, including 20% of all investment banking positions.

Merrill intends to expand into crude oil and coal trading, and plans to add bankers covering financial services, energy, power, media and telecommunications.

Separately, Merrill Lynch lost Kevin Albert, head of its equity fund raising division. Albert is joining Elevation Partners, a Silicon Valley private equity firm.

While Merrill was flagging hiring plans, Goldman Sachs reshuffled staff after merging its investment banking and financing divisions. The new division will be co-led by Scott Kapnick and John Weinberg, co-heads of the investment banking group, together with Jon Winkelried, head of the fixed income, currency and commodities division. David Solomon, head of the financing group, will continue to oversee financing within the new division.

It also emerged that Peter Weinberg, chief executive of Goldman Sachs International, is to return to the US later this year for family reasons.

Weinberg won't be the only one heading across the Atlantic. Abhijit Chakraborrti, chief global equity strategist at JP Morgan is moving from London to New York to take on the position of head of global equity strategy and build a new team. He will relocate on April 1st

Loss at Soros

Mike Donatelli, a star merger arbitrate fund manager, left Soros Fund Managmenet, the $10 billion fund management empire owned by George Soros and run by his sons Robert and Jonathan. Donatelli has left to set up EAC Partners, a merger arbitrage and distressed debt fund based in New York. Chief executive Mark Schwartz also left Soros earlier this month, becoming the third chief executive to stand down since 2000.

Wood leaves CSFB

Jerry Wood global co-head of fixed income, left CSFB. Wood had been at the bank nearly two years after being hired from Morgan Stanley by John Mack, the CSFB chief executive who left last year. Jim Healy, Wood's co-head, will now do the job alone.

Marsh reorganizes Mercer

Marsh & McLennan, the insurance broker under scrutiny for civil fraud, announced staff changes at Mercer, its consulting subsidiary, following the planned retirement of president Peter Coster. In future, the company will be managed as two business areas: Mercer Human Resource Consulting, and speciality consulting businesses. Brian Storms, currently vice chairman of Mercer Human Resource Consulting, will manage the human resource arm. David Morrison, currently president and CEO of Mercer Management Consulting, will manage the speciality consulting businesses. The latter will include: Mercer Strategy and Operations, Mercer Oliver Wyman, Mercer Organizational Consulting, Lippincott Mercer, and NERA Economic Consulting.

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