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The end of the Ice Maiden’s era

Carol Galley

Carol Galley, London's most famous fund manager, is leaving her job at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers after more than 30 years in the business.

Galley, who was dubbed the Ice Maiden after she made the casting vote against Sir Rocco Forte in favour of Granada's hostile takeover of his company in 1996, confessed to feeling emotional upon announcing her decision.

Somewhat hidden in her formidable shadow, Stephen Zimmerman, who was co-chief operating officer with Galley, is also leaving.

The two architects of Mercury Asset Management's sale to Merrill Lynch at the top of the market in 1997 for £3.1 billion are leaving just as the good times look to be coming to an end.

By the time she goes in December, Galley will hope to have seen a resolution of the one blot on her landscape: the legal squabble with Unilever pension fund.

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