Merrill Lynch is now planning to cut 10 percent to 15 percent of its workforce—excluding brokers—sometime in May, CNBC has learned.
Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain is expected to complete his review of headcounts at the Wall Street firm by the end of the month. (Video: Charlie Gasparino on Merrill's cuts)
Unlike in the past, Merrill is not planning to make any major announcement about the layoffs. The firm is hoping to make the cuts as quietly as possible. Job cuts are likely to grow at other Wall Street firms due to the sharp slowdown in business.
Lehman Brothers Holdings, for example, is likely to cut closer to 10 percent of its workforce rather than the 5% previously reported.
Lehman employed about 28,600 people as of Nov. 30, 2007, according to the company's most recent annual report.
More on layoffs: Celent Sees 200,000 Banking Jobs at Risk and Surprise! Private Sector Sees Job Growth.