GERMANY - Merrill Lynch Investment Managers has hired former J P Morgan sales executive Kai Volkmann to boost is German sales institutional team.

MLIM said Volkmann joins as a key account manager, responsible for large German banks and institutional clients.

He will report to Achim Küssner, managing director of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (Deutschland) GmbH.

“Kai will make an excellent addition to our sales team and will contribute to growing our business with strategic partners and institutional clients in 2004,” Küssner said.

MLIM added Volkmann was formerly a senior sales executive for institutional clients at J P Morgan Fleming Asset Management in Frankfurt, London and Luxembourg.

Last month parent firm Merrill Lynch reported that MLIM’s institutional assets under management had fallen to 235 billion dollars (190 billion euros) from 239 billion dollars a year before.