Jeff Peek, president of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), said Tuesday that the division “lost contact” with the firm’s retail brokers in the 1990s, and has “completely turned that story around today.”
Peek made the comments on a web-based Bear Stearns conference called “The Fight for Assets.”
Here are other points Peek made during the conference:
* Redemptions are down 66% from last year, he said. * MLIM is reallocating resources to faster-growth business like Separate Accounts. “Increasing our margins,” Peek said, “is one of our goals; it’s one of the ways I get paid.”
* He is reducing the headcount at MLIM, trimming the work force from 4,500 people to 3,600 by the end of 2001.
* Fees have increased five basis points from 39 basis points to 44 basis points within the last six quarters, he said.
* Outside distribution channels represent “the biggest opportunity of all,” Peek said. MLIM has more than 100 distributor relationships in United States, including one with First Union Securities, and “we’re working very hard to put more and more product through these channels,” he said.
* 47% of all mutual fund sales within Merrill's International Private Client Group are MLIM products, he said.
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