Merrill restructures global debt markets

Kim, who was previously head of global enterprise solutions in the fixed-income division, named Paul Thomas and Barry Wittlin as co-heads of the global rates group, in an internal memo obtained by RiskNews.

Thomas and Wittlin will have overall responsibility for interest rate derivatives, complex FX options, commodity derivatives, new derivatives, US governments, municipals and tax-advantaged products, mortgages, sovereigns, agencies, and financial futures and options.

Wittlin steps up from managing New York trading of interest rate swaps, interest rate options, mortgage swaps and municipal derivatives. He joined Merrill in 1996, managing the options desk, before taking on responsibility for US interest rate derivatives trading in 1997. Before joining Merrill, Barry worked for Manufacturers Hanover/Chemical Bank – where Kim was employed prior to 1994. He also had a spell at Bank of America working in interest rate derivatives. Thomas, meanwhile, was previously head of Merrill’s government securities unit. He was president of Merrill Lynch Canada and head of debt markets in Canada between 1995 and 1999. Thomas has previously worked as a vice-president in bond trading for both Goldman Sachs and Citibank.

Kim has named David Lund as head of Merrill’s new global credit products group. Lund will manage the integration of Merrill’s credit products, including all credit trading for money markets, investment grade, credit derivatives, structured credit, syndicate, lending businesses, high yield, distressed and emerging markets. He will also have responsibility for all structuring groups, including new product development, Merrill Lynch reinsurance, credit structuring and structured finance.

Lund worked for Kim in Japan following a stint at Morgan Stanley, where he held senior positions in asset swap trading, structured notes trading, credit derivatives and emerging market derivatives. He joined Merrill Lynch in 1996 as head of structured products for both debt and equity markets in Japan, and subsequently ran Japanese equity markets. He started his banking career at Citicorp in its financial institutions group and was most recently co-head of global equity linked products at Merrill Lynch.

Harry Lengsfield will continue in his role as chief operating officer for global debt markets, responsible for all debt support areas, and sits on the debt risk council. He will assume expanded responsibilities for global principal investments, e-commerce and debt markets analytics. Lengsfield will take on regional responsibility for the debt markets in Canada.

Meanwhile, Doug DeMartin will head the global investor client group, which will include the alternative investment and strategic solutions groups. He was previously head of Americas credit trading, and spent a year as head of debt markets in Canada. He has also held a number of roles in debt and equity sales in the US, and joined the US investment house from Ernst & Young in 1985.

Bob Lyons has been named head of Merrill’s global issuer client group with responsibility for all global debt markets origination activity worldwide, and will also manage ratings advisory, liabilities management and debt advisory. He most recently headed the firm’s debt issuer client group for the Americas, and has held a number of roles in debt origination.

Both Lyons and DeMartin will report jointly to Kim and Jim Quigley, senior vice-president and head of global debt markets client relationships. Kim and Quigley in turn both report to Paul Roy and Arshad Zakaria, co-heads of Merrill Lynch’s corporate and institutional client group.

As already reported by RiskNews, former Deutsche Bank and Citigroup FX supremo Michael DeSa has joined Merrill as head of FX. His predecessor Keith Jacobson appears to have been sidelined, but Kim said his new responsibilities would be announced “shortly”.

Meanwhile, TJ Lim and Kevin Krespi will continue their roles of managing the EMEA and Pacific Rim regions for global debt markets, respectively.

“This is a team of highly talented, experienced and energetic leaders who will help chart our success for years to come. With these appointments, we are fine-tuning our organisational structure to adapt to a global business environment, which, while faced with near-term uncertainty, presents tremendous growth and leadership opportunities,” said Kim in the internal memo. “Our collective goal will be to work together as one global team - that is client-focused and results-oriented - to build a truly integrated division across sales, trading (cash and derivatives), origination and regions.”

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