Merrill continues to shake up senior management

"Upon my arrival, Ahmass informed me of his intention to move out of Merrill Lynch in the first quarter and pursue other interests. He provided leadership during this challenging period and has transitioned the new team," said John Thain, chairman and chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch.

Fakahany’s departure follows the bank's announcement on January 17 of a net loss of $7.8 billion for 2007. Over the second half of last year, Merrill Lynch’s fixed-income, currencies and commodities division was hit by writedowns including $7.9 billion in the third quarter and $11.5 billion in the fourth quarter related to US collateralised debt obligations comprised of asset-backed securities.

"While the firm's earnings performance for the year is clearly unacceptable, over the last few weeks we have substantially strengthened the firm's liquidity and balance sheet," said Thain.

 Meanwhile, the New-York based bank has hired another chief risk officer. Noel Donohoe will take up this position, sharing responsibility for risk management with Edmond Moriarty, who was appointed chief risk officer in September 2007. Both will report directly to Thain. Donohoe joins from investment management firm Dune Capital Management, where he was chief operating officer and a partner. Before this he was head of risk at Goldman Sachs, from 1994 to 2005.

See also:
Asia heads of equities and prime brokerage leave Merrill Lynch
Merrill appoints replacement for O'Neal
Banks reveal further subprime wounds

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