Risk expert Zakaria takes a top post at Merrill

Zakaria will be joined by another co-head, Paul Roy, a London-based veteran of Smith New Court, who with Zakaria will fill Thomas Davis’ position. Davis has been made vice-chairman of the bank with executive responsibility for the company's global securities research and economics group.

Zakaria, 39, has been a managing director at Merrill Lynch for the past 10 years, serving as chief operating officer and then head of the global corporate finance group before being named head of corporate risk management in May 2000. He received a BA in applied mathematics from Harvard University and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar and recipient of the Loeb-Rhoades Fellowship in Finance.

Roy, 54, built a career in the London equity market, rising to become chief executive of Smith New Court, which Merrill bought in 1995. Three years later he became head of global equities.

Michael Marks, 59, who ran Smith New Court, last week became chairman of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. This is in addition to his existing responsibilities as the head of Merrill Lynch's Europe, Middle East and Africa operation and one of the firm’s executive vice-prsidents.

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