December 30, 2008 / 1:52 AM / 10 years ago

Merrill Lynch's Asia chairman to retire - source

SINGAPORE, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Raymundo Wu, chairman Asia-Pacific at Merrill Lynch MER.N, is retiring after working for almost three decades with the U.S. bank, a source told Reuters on Tuesday.

“He wanted to retire a year earlier, but the management urged him to stay,” the source with direct knowledge of the move told Reuters, adding Wu will leave at the end of 2008.

“He wants to spent time with his family and also has a lot of charity work to look after in Philippines,” the source said.

Merrill declined to comment. Wu was based in Singapore.

Wu’s departure comes as Merrill, which is being taken over by Bank of America (BAC.N), saw some high profile shakeups in the past few months.

Earlier this month Merrill’s chief financial officer, Nelson Chai was appointed to head the combined banks’ Asia-Pacific businesses.

Damian Chunilal, Merrill Lynch’s head of investment banking for all of Asia, left in November.

In early December Merrill’s shareholders approved Bank of America takeover, which would allow Bank of America to surpass JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) as the largest U.S. bank, with $2.7 trillion of assets.

The all-stock purchase values Merrill at about $21 billion, down from an original $50 billion on Sept. 15 as shares of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America slid. (Reporting by Saeed Azhar)

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