BAML's GTS head moves into equities in senior reshuffle

By:
Duncan Kerr
Published on:

The head of global transaction services at Bank of America Merrill Lynch is to take on a senior global equities role for the firm in a rare example of a transaction banker breaking into the senior ranks of an investment banks' markets business.

Paul Simpson, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Paul Simpson's appointment is partly recognition of the transaction services business he and his team have built in the past three years

Paul Simpson, who has run BAML's GTS business since joining from Citi in 2011, will run the bank's asset management services group, which sits within global markets.

Simpson will oversee the bank's prime brokerage, stock loans, over-the-counter clearing, and futures and options businesses as part of this role, as well as continue to lead the global custody and agency services business. 

He reports directly to Fab Gallo, global head of equities and head of global markets for EMEA, and David Sobotka, head of global fixed-income currencies and commodities trading.

As a result of the appointment, Paul Donofrio, head of global corporate credit and transaction banking, and Simpson's former boss, will take on responsibility for running the GTS business directly.

It is literally every single person trying to help to win a deal
Paul Simpson

Based in New York, Donofrio has responsibility across global corporate and investment banking and commercial banking for global treasury solutions, global loan products, leasing, trade and supply chain finance. Global custody and agency services, which reported into Donofrio before, will now report into Simpson. Donofrio was formerly co-head of corporate and investment banking in London.

Simpson's appointment is interesting because of the rarity of transaction bankers moving into senior positions within an investment bank's global markets business.

Indeed, there has been a greater flow of investment bankers moving into transaction banking roles in recent years, as banks have intensified their focus on growing their cash and payments businesses as markets' revenues slide.  

On one level Simpson's appointment is recognition of the transaction services business he and his team have built in the past three years. The bank is Euromoney's global transaction services house of the year 2014

Increasing importance

On another level it represents the increasing importance of transaction services to investment banking, and the need for greater collaboration between the two businesses. 

All universal banks are trying to increase the level of collaboration between these two businesses in an effort to boost revenues, profits and shareholder returns. Such a collaborative culture is difficult to bring about, and bring about successfully.

However, for some banks such as BAML, it seems to be making more progress than most in being able to crack it in the way management want. 

In speaking to Euromoney recently, Simpson said of this: "It is literally every single person trying to help to win a deal. Last year we had 25 deals that executive vice-chairmen and senior investment bankers helped win for us."