Merrill Lynch announced today it will take an estimated $2.2 billion charge against its pre-tax earnings for the fourth quarter in order to save about $1.4 billion annually.
About $500 million of the charge relates to consolidating and closing offices worldwide; $300 million, technology initiatives and the writedown of some technology assets; and $200 million, other business costs. About $1.2 billion relates to severance and costs associated with the layoff of about 9,000 workers worldwide in 2001, said Christine Walton, spokeswoman.
The layoffs did not affect Merrill Lynchs asset management unit. Employee reduction in that unit was the result of divesting the Hotchkis & Wiley business to its employees and the sale of its 300-person mutual fund accounting business to State Street Corp., Ms. Walton said.