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September 30, 2002

Buzzy' Is Optimistic on Market Makers

By Gregory Bresiger

A trading legend of the last five decades is stepping down.

E.E. "Buzzy" Geduld, 59, retired late last month. He went from a quote boy in the early 1960s - who lost his job in a bad market - to running his own donut business and then going back into the securities business, eventually running his own trading firm. Geduld's firm, the fabled Herzog Heine Geduld, was merged two years ago with Merrill Lynch.

"A well-known and much respected-figure, Buzzy has made countless contributions to our business, most recently as chairman of Merrill Lynch Nasdaq," wrote Merrill officials in an internal memo.

Why retire now? "I thought this was an appropriate time to spend more time with my family, to travel and to take care of my investments," Geduld said. He will have a lot to take care of.

The sage Geduld, who sold because he believed his firm would eventually not be able to compete with global market making operations, departed at the top of the market.

Merrill paid Geduld $920 million in stock. But even though the last two years have been very difficult for the market making business, Geduld remains an optimist.

"All through the years I've heard about the death of market making because of each new change and it never happened. Nasdaq was supposed to put us out of business and it never happened. Good firms can adjust to any change after a year or two," Geduld said.