The Bank for International Settlements has appointed John G. Heimann as the first chairman of the bank's Financial Stability Institute.

Mr. Heimann, 69, is chairman in charge of global financial institutions at Merrill Lynch & Co. and a member of the firm's executive management committee.

He is due to retire on Feb. 1 and will take up his new position with the BIS the same day. He will be based in New York.

The Financial Stability Institute is a joint initiative of the BIS and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, and was recently set up as part of an effort to strengthen financial systems worldwide by promoting better supervision of banking, capital markets, and insurance.

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