BUILD PROFITS

Boost Merrill Lynch's (MER ) flagging profit margins and its stock price substantially over the next 18 months in order to satisfy the board and to keep the firm safe from predators

NARROW FOCUS

Move Merrill from financial supermarket to more specialized firm serving clients with more than $100,000 in assets, offering strategic advice to corporations, and selling higher-fee mutual funds

CUT COSTS

May lay off as many as 10,000 of the firm's 62,800 employees worldwide and terminate some overseas operations

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