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August 31, 2003

Trader Rises to Top At Mother Merrill

By Staff Reports

He comes from the top echelons of the trading world and is considered a possible successor to Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O'Neal.

Robert McCann, a popular 21-year vet before his recent exit from Merrill, has been lured back to the brokerage house. He is overseeing the firm's 13,300 brokers, asset management, and global securities research and economics business. Only about two months ago, McCann had joined the U.S. unit of France's AXA SA.

In his new vice chairman role, he is regarded as the second most powerful executive at Merrill after O'Neal. McCann, 45, is positioned to take the CEO slot by the time he turns 50. Under current arrangements, O'Neal, who was named CEO in late 2001, is expected to stay for another five years.

McCann was once featured in a Traders Magazine cover story written by the then editor Michael Scotti. That was back in the days when McCann was a familiar face on Merrill's sprawling trading floor. He has an impressive resume. At Merrill, he was head of global equities. Most recently, he was head of research and chief operating officer of global markets and investment banking.

Another career highlight: McCann was reported as one of the serious candidates - along with the successful finalist Sungard's Robert Griefeld - to succeed Wick Simmons, who stepped down as Nasdaq Chairman and CEO.