Montag to Lead Merrill's Sales and Trading

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Merrill Lynch hired former Goldman Sachs executive Thomas K. Montag as head of global sales and trading. His appointment was in the works for months: Merrill Chief Executive John Thain had confirmed he'd been wooing his former colleague soon after Montag retired as head of Goldman's global securities business last December.

A 22-year veteran of Goldman, Montag was co-president of the bank's Japanese operations since 2001 and before that ran the global derivatives business.

Separately, Goldman reportedly hired two senior fixed-income bankers away from Merrill, which continues to overhaul its worldwide fixed-income operations in the wake of huge losses in recent quarters. Financial News reports Atanas Bostandjiev, London-based head of rates sales, and Antonio Esteves, head of credit sales, resigned from Merrill to join Goldman. FN also says David Sobotka "is poised to step down" as Merrill's head of global fixed income after six months on the job, to pave the way for Thain to install his choice for the role.

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