Is there a North Carolina-style dynamo waiting to whir into action in some unconsidered part of Europe? Or is the coast-to-coast merger triumph of what was once NationsBank and has now taken on Bank of America branding something that can't be replicated outside the US? Certainly, things are going to go differently in the EU, but bank experts reckon there's a lot to be learnt from US merger mania. The views of the new Bank of America's James Hance and Frank Gentry, and of others eyeing Europe, are sifted by James Smalhout
American bank merger supremo Hugh McColl, a former marine, spent the better part of his career briskly marching his institution from the backwater that once was Charlotte to the Pacific coast. The resulting colossus straddles most of the high-growth regions, thanks to spectacular M&A coups. McColl crowned his career with a stunning achievement: the 1998 link-up with San Francisco's Bank of America.
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