Jeff Peek: Is this the man to run Merrill?
Colleagues describe Jeff Peek as straightforward, engaging, decent, and a man with a clear vision and a good sense of humour.
Would Jeff Peek like to be chief executive of Merrill Lynch? After a few moments' hesitation, he replies: "well, yes I would".
It is, Euromoney is told later, the first time he has been asked publicly to state whether he would be interested in running the US financial services firm, and his response is typically reserved. Colleagues describe him as straightforward, engaging, decent, and a man with a clear vision and a good sense of humour.
"It certainly doesn't take up all my time," he continues. "But yes, I do think about it occasionally. It would be a huge job, and a huge honour. But this job is big enough for now."
By the end of the year he and the other two main candidates - head of CICG Thomas Davis and head of private client Stan O'Neal - ought to know their fate.