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Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated) usually referred to as Merrill Lynch are investment bankers and as one of the world's leading financial management and advisory companies have one of the most recognizable names in the world of finance. The company was founded on January 6, 1914, when Charles E Merrill & Co. opened for business at 7 Wall Street in New York City. A few months later, Merrill's friend, Edmund C. Lynch, joined him and in 1915 the name was officially changed to Merrill, Lynch & Co.
Today, the multinational company operates in more than 40 countries around the world, managing client assets in excess of US$1.8 trillion.
A settlement reached with New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer imposed a $100m fine as well as an agreement to sever all links between analysts' pay and investment banking revenues.