Merrill overtakes UBS in league of the big FTSE 100 brokerships

DESPITE the fallout from its at times heated takeover by Bank of America, Merrill Lynch has climbed up to second place in the table of biggest advisors to FTSE 100 companies, according to a report due
out shortly from Hemscott.

Merrill's elevation comes at the expense of its Swiss rival, UBS, with whom it last year held joint second place, and may surprise some who expected the bank's broking business to suffer from the fall-out from the Bank of America deal which resulted in several personnel changes.

Merrill has lost some of its reputable investment banking team and subsequently suffered a fall in prominence in mergers and acquisitions but the broking business appears to have more than held its own.

UBS, which itself has suffered a traumatic period with sub-prime losses compounded by a US tax investigation, has lost a couple of major clients, which accounts for its slippage down the table. In terms of the value of its clients, though, UBS is still above Merrill.

JP MorganCazenove, the doyen of City stockbrokers, continues to lead the pack. It is broker to 31 of the FTSE 100 companies, including the media group ITV and the miner Rio Tinto.