UK – Merrill Lynch Investment Managers has recruited for its UK specialist team with the appointment of Nigel Ridge.

Ridge will join the MLIM UK Specialist team as an institutional fund manager in January 2004, and will report to Luke Chappell, head of UK specialist team which is presently seven-strong.

Ridge is the first of the replacements for the three team members that left at the beginning of August - UK equity manager, Steve Thompson, Richard Milliken and Mark Wharrier.

A spokesman for MLIM said that there may be other additions to the team in future.

Previously Ridge was head of UK retail funds at Legal and General. He has also worked at Deutsche Asset Management and Schroder Investment Management.

Merrill Lynch Investment Managers has 473 billion dollars in assets under management worldwide.