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Banking

People: BofA Merrill tries to regain focus

Focus returns to core investment banking; Bajpai claims synergies from merger

Losing My Position
Merrill Lynch performance in Asia Pacific IB revenue ranking, 2001 to 2008
Year Net revenue ($mln) Position % share
2001 271 5 6.7
2002 159 8 4.1
2003 207 10 3.9
2004 253 11 3.8
2005 387 8 4.9
2006 411 10 3.8
2007 483 7 4.1
2008 278 11 3.2
Source: Dealogic

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is busy hiring as it looks to regain a reputation as one of the best Asia-Pacific investment banking franchises, a status that Merrill Lynch had earlier in the decade. Having been ranked fifth in 2001 on Dealogic’s league table for core investment banking revenues, with a market share of 6.7%, Merrill Lynch lost some of its focus on investment banking as more profitable activities such as principal investing gained popularity.

By 2008 the firm had slipped to 11th place on the same table. Now while competitors say the combined franchise is struggling in Asia because of integration and global leadership issues, its management says it is building a top-tier Asia investment bank that will benefit from the merger.

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