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Executive With Guinness Connection Hired

January 7, 1988

LONDON (AP) _ Merrill Lynch Capital Markets said Thursday it has hired as a temporary consultant the former chief executive of the investment firm Morgan Grenfell Group PLC, which served as an adviser to the scandal-plagued brewer Guinness PLC.

Merrill denied a story in London’s Evening Standard newspaper that the Bank of England had blocked its attempt to hire the former chief executive, Christopher Reeves, to head up its London-based European operations, forcing Merrill to offer a lesser job of consultant.

″He has not been blocked by the Bank of England,″ said Richard Spiegelberg, a spokesman for Merrill Lynch in London. ″He has not been offered any other job.″

Reeves will serve as a temporary consultant in New York to advise on international market strategy, Merrill Lynch said. It said he will be working primarily during the first quarter of 1988.

Reeves resigned from Morgan Grenfell in January 1987 because of the firm’s role in advising Guinness during its controversial takeover of Distillers Co. PLC in 1986.

Although there has been no suggestion that Reeves was personally involved in any wrongdoing, Morgan Grenfell cited his management responsibility in announcing his resignation.

Scotland Yard’s fraud squad and the Department of Trade and Industry are investigating alleged illegal share manipulation by Guinness during the bid and and five men, including Guinness’ former chairman, Ernest Saunders, have been charged with theft and other offenses.

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