William J. McDonough, former chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has joined Merrill Lynch & Co. as a vice chairman and special adviser to chief executive Stan O'Neal.

McDonough , 71, stepped down from the PCAOB in November. In a statement, Merrill Lynch said that McDonough will help the investment bank with its business-development efforts with governments and financial institutions. McDonough will be based in New York.

A former banker, McDonough was serving as president of federal reserve bank when Securities and Exchance Chairman William Donaldson asked him to take over the newly created PCAOB in June 2003.

McDonough spent over two decades with First Chicago Corp. and the First National Bank of Chicago before joining the New York Fed in January 1992 as executive vice president, heading the bank's markets group. He was named president 18 months later, and served as the vice chairman and a permanent voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the group responsible for formulating the nation's monetary policy.

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