Six months after several of Merrill Lynch & Co.'s top fixed-income executives were ousted from their jobs, another round of shakeouts is underway, which involve many of the bank's senior executives in fixed income.

Sources familiar with the company say that Stewart Cutler, David Sobotka and Scott Soltas have all opted to take generous packages and will leave the investment bank by the beginning of June, said sources familiar with the situation.

Sobotka, who leads the investment bank's fixed-income group, took over from Osman Semerci last October. Mallach, is co-head of Merrill's fixed-income and structured products business is also headed for the door. Mallach was co-head along with Dale Lattanzio, who was ousted last October at the same time as Semerci. Soltas is global head of Merrill's mortgage business.

Soltas, who ran the mortgage sales and trading business, will be replaced by two managing directors. Peter Antico, who oversees its rates business and Donald Quintin, who is in charge of credits, will oversee that business in addition to their current responsibilities, according to people familiar with the company's plans.

Cutler will be replaced by Robert Little, who has been with Merrill Lynch for more than 25 years and who will now oversee all aspects of its global money markets business. Market sources had previously expressed concerns that the bank would abandon its top position in the ABCP market, but sources familiar with Merrill said that the company is determined to maintain its leadership position in the sector. Also, Stephany Bushweller, vice president of asset-backed conduit products, will take on more responsibilities in ABCP, according to people familiar with Merrill.

The cuts also affected the company's bank of subprime mortgage traders, including Ryan Stroker.

The news comes as Merrill Lynch continues to reorganize the top ranks of its executives. CEO John Thain, who joined in December 2007, announced the members of the management team that will work closely with him.

The management team includes Thomas Montag, who was recruited recently from Goldman Sachs to head up Merrill's global sales and trading business. Nelson Chai, formerly an executive vice president and CFO of NYSE Euronext, is also a member of the management team, as are Gregory Fleming, president and COO; Robert McCann, head of wealth management; Rosemary Berkery, general counsel; Andrea Orcel, who is responsible for Merrill's global originations; Jason Brand, president of Merrill Lynch in the Pacific Rim; Margaret Tutwiler, communications chief and Thomas Sanzone, chief administrative officer.

"As I have emphasized over the last five months, breaking down silos and fostering teamwork, collaboration and cross-selling enable us to generate innovations and ideas to give us the best competitive advantage," Thain was quoted as saying.

(c) 2008 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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