Falcon Leaving Retirement Group at Merrill Lynch

Saying the retirement business is a “strategic priority″ for the firm’s Global Wealth Management (GWM) group, Merrill Lynch has confirmed that Steve Bodurtha has assumed responsibility as head of the Retirement Group, succeeding Michael Falcon.

Falcon, who joined Merrill Lynch in 2000 as head of the Retirement Group and also held several leadership roles within GWM, will be leaving Merrill Lynch in early May, the company said.

“Mike has helped guide our business over the past eight years and has been instrumental in establishing the team and strengthening our brand,’ Merrill Lynch spokesman Erik Hendrickson told PLANADVISER in an e-mail. “We thank him for his contributions and wish him much happiness in his future endeavors.’

“We are grateful to have tapped SVP Steve Bodurtha, who brings a strong track record of success to the business,’ Hendrickson said.

Bodurtha, who is a Senior Vice President, joined Merrill Lynch in 1980 in Investment Banking. In 1995, he joined GWM, where his jobs have included: head of Investor Strategies and the Managed Solutions Group; head of the Investment Products and Capabilities Group; and head of Investments, Wealth Management & Insurance. Earlier this year, Bodurtha became Vice Chairman of Global Wealth Management. “We are counting on him to lead the Retirement Group in the next chapter as we accelerate growth,’ Hendrikson said.

Cynthia Hayes, Head of Marketing and Investments for the Merrill Lynch Retirement Businesses, also will be leaving the firm this summer. Hayes was eligible for career retirement and decided to take advantage of it, Hendrickson explained. “We are pleased that Cynthia Hayes will continue in her current role at Merrill Lynch, until the end of June,” Hendrikson said. “We fully expect that she will be engaged with the team that is leading our growth efforts beyond that time, as she structures the next phase in her career.’