Merrill Lynch Investment Managers joint chief operating officers Carol Galley and Stephen Zimmerman are retiring.
Current co-head of MLIM Americas Robert Doll has been appointed chief investment officer. Head of MLIM Europe, Middle East and Africa Peter Gibbs will become chief operating officer.
Zimmerman's retirement is effective from June 30 but Galley will stay until the end of the year. The pair have worked together for 30 years. Both began their careers in 1971 at Mercury Asset Management – then part of SG Warburg.
They both joined Merrill's executive management committee when Merrill Lynch bought Mercury in 1997 for £3.1bn, becoming joint chief operating officers of MLIM last year when the Merrill Lynch and Mercury asset management units were combined.
Galley gained fame in fund management circles in 1996 when she voted Mercury's 14.6 per cent stake in the family-owned Forte hotel chain in favour of a £3.6bn hostile takeover bid by Granada.
Both have cited personal reasons for retirement. Galley will continue with outside interests such as being a trustee of the Royal Opera House Trust. Zimmerman intends to spend more time with his family and in work for charity organisations.
Doll joined MLIM in June from US mutual fund company Oppenheimer Funds. Gibbs was previously with Mercury before being appointed MLIM Europe, Middle East & Africa head in 1999.
Merrill Lynch chairman and chief executive David Komansky says: “Carol Galley and Stephen Zimmerman are two of the most distinguished and respected leaders in the asset management industry.
“They have played a critical role in guiding the firm through several years of global expansion.”