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Friday, October 03, 2003

Merrill Fires Three Brokers

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Merrill Lynch tried to jump ahead of any appearance of wrongdoing Friday morning by firing three brokers who worked with Millennium Partners. The trio of New Jersey brokers did not help Millennium Partners place late trades in mutual fund shares, however the brokerage giant says they helped the hedge fund make arbitrage timing trades in funds according to Reuters.

Merrill's decision to fire the three brokers came less than 24 hours after Millennium trader Steve Markovitz pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to a felony charge related to late trading in fund shares.

"In light of recent public scrutiny of late-day trading and market timing, the firm has examined whether these activities have taken place at Merrill Lynch. Merrill Lynch policies prohibit late-day trading and market timing. We have discovered no late- day trading. Our review has revealed certain instances of market timing, and consistent with this policy, disciplinary actions have been taken," the firm stated to Reuters.

The firm did not conform Reuters report that the brokers had been fired, nor did it reveal their identities.  

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