INTERNATIONAL: Merrill Lynch A-P's Sherbin ousted

HONG KONG: Merrill Lynch Asia-Pacific director of marketing and comms Robert Sherbin has been ousted after a share issuing debacle with Singapore chip maker Chartered Semiconductor.

News of Sherbin's departure comes less than a month after a disappointing rights issue for Chartered, handled by Merrill, which saw investors shun shares, leaving Merrill to pick up the remaining 16 per cent.

According to financial media reports, Merrill only found buyers for a tenth of the shares, prompting Sherbin to attempt damage limitation by going on the record in the Singapore Business Times on 16 October to clarify that the share loss was, in fact, closer to 11 per cent.

No official announcement on Merrill's shareholding had been made on the Singapore Exchange's (SGX) web-based shareholder filing system Masnet, as Merrill and Chartered are not obliged to post shareholdings owing to a waiver granted for Chartered's compliance with SGX listing requirements.

Sherbin's comments were believed to have pre-empted any official statement by Chartered to clarify the Singapore shareholding.

Sherbin's role has since been 'redefined', according to an official statement by Merrill Asia-Pacific V-P of marcoms and acting marcoms manager RG Rosso.

Sherbin had been with the investment bank for over a year, having taken over the regional marcoms post when predecessor Tim Cobb left the position in April 2001.

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