Merrill Lynch & Co Inc. has offered BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Laurence Fink the post of CEO of the brokerage, CNBC reported Monday.
Merrill has given Fink two weeks to decide whether to accept the offer, CNBC said.
A Merrill Lynch spokeswoman declined to comment.
Merrill last week ousted Stan O'Neal as CEO amid mounting losses on mortgage-related securities. The company's loan write-downs resulted in a $2.2-billion loss in the third quarter, the biggest in the brokerage's 93-year history.
Fink, when contacted by Reuters on Oct. 28, said he was not aware that he might be a candidate for the job. "I'm a happy CEO of BlackRock," Fink said then.
Nevertheless, some investors and analysts see Fink, 55, as the antidote to Merrill's fixed-income problems. Fink has built New York-based BlackRock into one of the world's leading bond investment firms. The company manages about $1.3 trillion in assets for clients.
While other financial companies' shares have dived this year, BlackRock's stock has surged 29%. The shares hit a record high of $206.95 on Wednesday. They dipped $3.80 to $195.50 on Monday.
Merrill's board already knows Fink well. The firm owns almost half of BlackRock.