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Abigail Hofman: Messy Bank of America Merrill Lynch

There is a murmuring in the London market that Merrill is a mess. Or rather that Bank of America Merrill Lynch is a mess. That sentiment was exacerbated in March when two senior European FIG bankers, Amir Hoveyda and Sid Prasad, resigned. Hoveyda lost out to Alastair Borthwick and Lisa Carnoy to run global capital markets after the previous head, Bruce Thompson, was promoted to be chief risk officer. Some say that Borthwick wants to focus the firm’s energies more on corporate and frequent borrower business. Paul Richards, who once ran the global debt syndicate function, will succeed Hoveyda as head of debt capital markets, EMEA, while retaining his current role as head of international debt syndicate. Marc Tempelman steps up to be head of FIG DCM in Europe. This is also a sign that we are in a different era: in the heady days of 2006 and 2007, Merrill was renowned for its financial institution franchise. Bankers such as Greg Fleming, Andrea Orcel, Matthew Greenburgh and Amir Hoveyda were revered as the new masters of the universe. Remember it was Merrill that advised the RBS consortium on its bid in 2007 for ABN Amro. Now it looks as if the carnival has moved on.

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