Merrill Lynch has appointed the boss of the New York Stock Exchange, John Thain, to be its new chief executive.
He replaces Stan O'Neal, who left after the bank was forced to admit a $7.9bn exposure to bad mortgage debt.
Merrill Lynch shares rose by as much as 7% as newspapers reported that the appointment was about to be made.
Earlier in the day, the bank said that it had not offered the job to Larry Fink, chief executive of the investment bank BlackRock.
Mr Fink had previously been thought to be the frontrunner for the job, but he was reported to have only been prepared to take the job if the bank could give him full accounting for its exposure to sub-prime mortgage debt.
The share price rise suggested that investors supported Mr Thain's appointment.
"We believe he would be a very good team builder and unifier, as well as operator," said David Katz from Matrix Asset Advisors in New York.
"We look at this as a home run for Merrill," he added.
Mr Thain was co-president of Goldman Sachs until 2004 when he left to become chief executive of NYSE Euronext.
The NYSE has announced that Duncan Niederauer will replace Mr Thain as its chief executive. ( BBC )