Mike Nierenberg and Jeffrey Verschleiser, who were previously co-heads of mortgage trading at Bear Stearns, have been promoted in a series of managerial changes at the bank. Verschleiser will head up a new business focused on distressed mortgages. In his new position, he will develop strategies to employ the firm's capital and manage capital for others, according to a spokeswoman. Nierenberg has been promoted to head of global rates and foreign exchange, a business which the firm has expanded and will continue to grow. He will also help to expand the precious metals effort in foreign exchange as well as local markets business. Scott Eichel and Josh Weintraub have been promoted to co-heads of MBS and ABS trading and Adam Siegel has been promoted to head up MBS and ABS credit trading.

Merrill Lynch is getting an infusion of old blood. According to reliable market sources, CEO John Thain has talked Jeff Kronthal into working with the company as a consultant to fixed-income chief David Sobotka. Kronthal was reportedly ousted in 2006 by former CEO Stan O'Neal, but before then he oversaw Merrill's CDO underwriting and trading business. Company officials declined to comment about the situation.

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