UK- Merrill Lynch Investment Managers has appointed Peter Abbott as a fund manager in its global equities team. Abbot joins next month from Newton Investment Management and will report to Ian Rowley, head of global equities.

Merrill’s global equities team now comprises eleven sector analysts and manages $8.1bn for institutional and retail investors. Last month Paul Clifton joined from consultants Watson Wyatt to oversee the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.

Ian Rowley said of the appointment: “as we follow a global sector approach to stockpicking, sector specialists like Peter or Paul Clifton strengthen our position considerably.”

Earlier this week Merrill Lynch announced the appointment of Steven Blackie as relationship manager for UK pension funds. He will report to Sarah Aitken, head of UK institutional relationship management. Blackie joined from Edinburgh Fund Managers where he was Investment Director and head of the Latin American department.

The appointments will be a welcome change for the Merrill Lynch who has seen the recent departure of numerous senior fund managers. Andreas Utermann, head of the firm's equity funds outside the US, quit at the beginning of May as did Habib Annous, who ran the UK smaller companies and UK value funds.

Anne Richards, managing director of MLIM’s e17bn UK equities Alpha team, joined Edinburgh fund Managers as chief investment officer in April.