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Banking

BoA comms stricter

What’s in a name? The problem for the business that Ken Lewis created is: far too much.

Now his successors are struggling with the concept of how to shorten the mouthful that is Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Obviously the sensitivities are high: one legacy business stands for everything big and bold in the US of A; the other has its own proud heritage as one of the world’s leading brokerages and investment banks.

It’s also an issue for publications such as Euromoney, for whom spelling out the full name of the institution every time takes up far too many column inches for a magazine that is already crammed to the brim with information.

Various iterations have been attempted: BofA Merrill (sometimes with the Lynch thrown in), BoA ML, just BofA, and combinations thereof.

It seemed that the firm had provided its own solution when it consolidated its email addresses into the handy URL of @baml.com. Euromoney, like other publications, eagerly adopted BAML as an easy to use acronym.

But apparently this version of the name has not found favour with the hierarchy within strategy and communications within BAML (oops, sorry), who have issued a strict edict that publications be encouraged to use a longer form of BofA Merrill (Lynch optional).

What with the eurozone debt crisis, regulatory changes and leveraging the platform of the combined firms, we think senior management at BofA Merrill (phew!) has more important things to worry about.

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