Awards for Excellence 2014: Best global investment bank
From laughing stock to global contender, the US firm has come a long way in a short time.
Best global investment bank:
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Cast your mind back five years, to a banking industry still reeling from the after-effects of the sub-prime crisis. Most talk was merely of survival, but occasionally the discussion would turn to which banks would be the winners once the crisis abated.
You would have struggled to find anyone, certainly externally, and often internally, who would have suggested that the recently rebranded Bank of America Merrill Lynch would count among the potential long-term winners.
When rivals weren’t worrying about the dire consequences that would afflict the industry as a whole if BAML went under, which still seemed highly possible at the time, they considered the bank a laughing stock. They chuckled about the huge clash of culture between two very different firms, the fall-out from two closely overlapping FIG businesses, the unwieldy size of the institution that now existed, the lack of knowledge of international markets from some senior executives based in Charlotte, or even just the rather convoluted name that would never catch on.