Obituary: Ray Minella led Merrill Lynch ’s charge into the junk-bond market when caution 'seemed like cowardice'
Merrill Lynch ’s marching orders to Ray Minella in the late 1980s were clear: Catch up with Drexel in the junk-bond market. Mr. Minella, who died Aug. 7, made gains, until the junk bubble deflated.
Merrill Lynch & Co., envious of the profits Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. was extracting from the 1980s junk-bond boom, assigned Ray Minella to grab a bigger slice of that action. He did, but then lost his role at Merrill when junk-bond prices plunged in 1990.
Led by Michael Milken, Drexel built up a vast market for high-yield, high-risk bonds starting in the late 1970s. They fueled a frenzy in leveraged buyouts, or LBOs, as investors took companies private and loaded them up with debt.Read more: The Wall Street Journal
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