Foreign exchange restructuring at Merrill Lynch

Although the bank’s spokesperson refused to comment on rumours circulating in the market last week, sources suggested the bank is flattening its management structure, with several senior executives likely to relinquish some forex responsibilities.

New York-based Michael DeSa, currently co-head of foreign exchange and rates, alongside Barry Wittlin, is likely to give up some of his day-to-day involvement with the forex business, with fewer people reporting into him. "The business is more mature than when DeSa took over, so he can put it in the hands of his deputies more," said one source close to the bank in New York.

Marcus Browning, currently co-head of global forex trading, is one of those deputies likely to take on more responsibilities as a result. Sources suggest he will take on sole responsibility for that group, while the role of Adam Kreysar - the other co-head - may change.

Rob Catalanello, co-head of the global foreign exchange issuer client group, is thought to have lost global management responsibility for his area, but taken on the management of corporate foreign exchange sales and hedge fund sales in New York.

Meanwhile, global head of investor sales Gregg Chow is thought to have relinquished responsibility for global investors to manage sales to pension funds, mutual funds and commodity trading advisers (CTAs) in New York. Sue Evans, who runs the bank’s CTA desk in New York, reports to him. It is unclear what the current reporting line for global investors is since Chow formerly managed hedge funds and real-money clients globally.

London-based senior foreign exchange managers are thought to be unaffected by the moves, including Patrick Baune, who reportedly retains management for foreign exchange sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The forex restructuring appears to be linked to a wider reorganisation of the bank’s global markets and investment banking division, forged by Merrill’s presidents of global markets and investment banking, Greg Fleming and Dow Kim.

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