Merrill Lynch commits to change in settlement

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As part of its $160 million proposed discrimination settlement with black financial advisers, Merrill Lynch has agreed to make sweeping changes that ‘‘may well change the landscape of Wall Street,’’ attorneys said Thursday in court filings.

The documents filed in US District Court in Chicago come days after attorneys for around 1,200 plaintiffs alleging racial bias announced a deal, which, if approved by a judge, would be one of the largest ever in a discrimination suit.

Among the measures, Merrill Lynch will create a ‘‘leadership council’’ to recommend ways to improve opportunities for African Americans; it commits to interviewing at least one minority candidate when selecting new executives, and it agrees to consider diversity issues when assessing directors’ job performances.

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