Merrill Lynch Investment Managers scales back in Asia, Japan

New president Stanley O''Neals strategic focus on profitability is galvanizing the global asset management business.

The global scaling back and re-emphasis on profitability at Merrill Lynch instigated by Stanley O'Neal's elevation to president and COO in July is now sweeping its $550 billion asset management business, creating dramatic cost cuts throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Merrill Lynch Investment Managers is eviscerating its Asia-based operations, in particular erasing its Singapore-based fund management operation and relocating most activities to London and in Japan, where it is giving up what it has come to see as a pointless attempt to launch a US-style retail funds business.

Brian Murdock, chairman of the Pacific region in Tokyo, is relocating to London as of January 1 in an expanded role as CIO for Europe, Asia and...

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