Talk about timing. Last Thursday, as rumors swirled that Chase Manhattan Corp. had set its sights on Merrill Lynch & Co., one Merrill executive found himself in the perfect setting to make light of the gossip.

John H. Gay, a first vice president who advises the firm on corporate strategy, appeared before a gathering of bank and financial analysts in New York. His topic: commercial banks buying into investment banking.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.