Another top executive at Merrill Lynch has stepped down.
The company announced today that Win Smith Jr. relinquished his title as president of Merrill Lynch’s International Private Client Group, the division that oversees roughly 3,000 retail brokers outside the United States.
At press time, it remained unclear whether Smith would remain with Merrill Lynch, although a spokesperson told RR that Smith had been offered the position of vice chairman and was waiting for more details from the firm before making a commitment. If he accepts the vice chairman’s position, Smith will share the title with Steve Hammerman, former general counsel for the firm, who also recently stepped aside from a high-level operating position.
The company said in a news release that Smith “may assume other responsibilities within the company.”
Smith is one of the two executives President Stan O’Neal beat out earlier this year in the quest to become Merrill’s president. The other executive is Thomas Davis, head of the firm’s corporate and institutional business. According to a New York Post article (http://www.nypost.com/business/5614.htm), Davis will be let go, too.
According to one veteran Merrill Lynch broker in the United States, Smith is considered a “consensus-builder” within the company and was considered a strong contender for the presidency of Merrill’s U.S. Private Client Group. That title went to James Gorman Sept. 20.
But Merrill spokesperson Guy McKanna tells RR that Smith is “not pouting” about the company’s failure to move him into the U.S. retail division.
Bloomberg reports that O’Neal removed Smith from his post as head of the International Group as part of a housecleaning effort (http://www.bloomberg.com/news2.cgi?T=scrnews.ht&s=AO7sr.BQuTWVycmls).
Smith’s successor as president of the International Private Client Group is G. Kelly Martin, who was most recently head of Global Debt Markets at Merrill Lynch.
Click here for Merrill’s press release on Smith’s resignation: http://www.ml.com/about/press_release/10032001-1_g_kelly_martin_pr.htm
Editor's note: For any comments regarding this article, or to suggest a story idea for RR Online or Registered Representative magazine, contact Editor in Chief Dan Jamieson at [email protected], Online Editor Rick Weinberg at [email protected], Online Managing Editor Cheryl Cooper at [email protected] or Senior Editor Michael Hayes at [email protected]