Movement between UBS and BAML might be messy

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By:
Abigail Hofman
Published on:

It is good to see the Bull charging back. In late April, Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced that it had hired Alex Wilmot-Sitwell from UBS as its new president of Europe and the emerging markets ex Asia. For those of you who have short memories, UBS hired one of Merrill’s top bankers, Andrea Orcel, merely a month ago to be co-head of the investment bank. Since then, Orcel has persuaded several other senior Merrill bankers to join him at UBS: Javier Oficialdegui, Javier Martinez-Piqueras and Emilio Greco.

Wilmot-Sitwell was well regarded at UBS. Originally a corporate financier, he rose through the UBS ranks to become co-head of the investment bank. His career seemed to plateau in 2011 when Carsten Kengeter was promoted to sole head of the investment bank and Wilmot-Sitwell went to Asia as regional co-head. I expect a number of senior UBS bankers will follow Wilmot-Sitwell to Merrill. Thus both UBS and Merrill might undergo a period of turbulence as some staff depart and others join and need to mesh with the existing culture. This process could be messy and might ultimately benefit competitors.