Retirement Unit Evades Merrill Lynch Cuts

October 19, 2001 ( - Merrill Lynch's anticipated layoffs of thousands of workers will not affect its retirement division, according to a Merrill spokesperson.

In fact, she added that the division is appropriately positioned for the market’s opportunities.

So far, Merrill has given pink slips to more than 6,000 workers. These second rounds of cuts are expected to terminate some 10,000 workers.

However, the outlook isn’t as bright for other divisions within the firm, with reports its international brokerage business will be most affected by the cutbacks. And, speculation has mounted that its troubled brokerage operation in Japan will be sold.

Shares of Merrill Lynch gained $1.06 yesterday to close at $45.29. Still, the company’s third quarter earnings were lower, but not unexpectedly so.

Its revenues declined 16% to $5.1 billion from $6.1 billion last year. Profits were down by more than 50%.