Merrill Lynch loses hedge staff

Stephen Thompson has left Merrill Lynch Investment Management (MLIM) with a number of colleagues from the investment banks' UK specialist investment team, and is expected to establish his own hedge fund either inside a boutique or on his own.

Two of MLIM's senior UK analysts, Richard Milliken and Mark Wharrier, also departed. Thompson managed MLIM's UK long/short portfolio with co-manager Bevis Comer, and will be taking six months' gardening leave before setting up once more. It is expected Comer