Merrill Lynch has built a 5.1 percent voting stake in Munich Re, making it one of the two largest shareholders in the German reinsurer.
Munich Re said in a statement on Friday that Merrill Lynch had informed it that as of Sept. 14 it held 11,122,923 voting rights out of a total of 217,888,670 voting rights in the company.
A source familiar with the situation said the Merrill Lynch stake was not strategic.
Merrill Lynch declined to comment.
Munich Re shares jumped by almost 1.8 percent on the news and were trading up 0.9 percent at 134.18 euros by 1508 GMT.
We are happy with all new investors, a Munich Re spokeswoman said, declining further comment on the announcement.
Asset manager AllianceBerstein, a unit of French insurer AXA said in September that it held a 5.15 percent non-strategic stake in Munich Re.