Wall Street: Merrill Lynch's New Herdsman

Merrill Lynch had an unexpected shake-up at the very top last week. Chairman Roger E. Birk, 54, the company boss since 1981, announced he would step down July 1 as chief executive officer to make way for the firm's president, William A. Schreyer, 56. The move reflected troubles in the Merrill Lynch herd. Only about a year ago, the Merrill Lynch bull was snorting with satisfaction. Propelled by a booming stock market, company profits for the first half of 1983 jumped to $239 million, 3½ times as high as in the same period in 1982. But since then the bull...

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