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End of the Tully Age

Saying goodbye can be hard. But for globally focused Dan Tully it took the form of a world tour. The outgoing chairman and chief executive of Merrill Lynch went to New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and London to meet clients and employees before his retirement this month.

Tully, who has worked for Merrill for 40 years and did much to develop its concept of ROI (return on integrity), will be sorely missed. Especially for the encouragement he gives to the younger troops. "I always tell our new recruits to take the ferry out to the Statue of Liberty," Tully revealed in a speech at Harvard. "I say to them, 'I want you to look back ­ not at what Merrill Lynch is, but at what Merrill Lynch can and should be.'"

The London reception was held in the Natural History Museum, described by one Merrill spokesman as "a classy way to send off a class guy." However, it was not the class of the guy or the venue that raised a few eyebrows, but the timing.

The next morning the findings of Dr Chris Stringer, head of the Human Origins Research group, were leaked from the museum, including the discovery that Neanderthal Man had wandered for a thousand years more than originally thought, and had a sophisticated Mediterranean palate for seafood and nuts rather than just meat.

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