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February 1, 1999

O'Neil Changes Coasts, Joins Mitchell Hutchins

By Michael L. O'Reilly

Stephen O'Neil, a well-known buy-side activist, has left Los Angeles to join Miller Hutchins Asset Management in New York.

O'Neil's move to New York follows layoffs at U.S. oil giant Atlantic Richfield Company, parent of ARCO Investment Management Co., the buy-side firm where O'Neil was head equity trader.

In his new position, O'Neil manages two traders as head of the equity desk at Miller Hutchins, a PaineWebber subsidiary. The desk handles transactions for the firm's $8 billion in equity assets.

In October, Atlantic Richfield unveiled a restructuring plan designed to lower operating costs by more than $500 million by 2000. Atlantic Richfield said 1,200 employees would be eliminated in the restructuring.

As a result, operations at ARCO Investment Management were downsized dramatically. Linda G. Dozier, an Atlantic Richfield spokesperson, said the parent eliminated the equity-management and trading staff, outsourcing the company's equity management. The company retained nine individuals for bond and international-equity management.

Dozier said that assets at ARCO Investment Management had been dwindling prior to the announced restructuring. Before the restructuring, 85 percent of the company's assets were managed internally. Today, only 45 percent of the Atlantic Richfield's $2.5 billion in pension funds is managed by ARCO Investment Management.

O'Neil, a 31-year Wall Street veteran, had been on the desk at ARCO Investment Management since 1979. His desk's other equity trader, Judy Keifer, retired after the cutbacks.