Bank of America Wrecking Merrill's Europe Banking Franchise

Bank of America’s attempts to impose its centralized structure on the once independent fiefdoms of Merrill Lynch’s  European investment banking business is tearing the firm apart at the seams, with senior managers locked in a heated argument over how the business should be run.

Marketwatch reports:

Senior rainmakers, including Andrea Orcel, the London-based head of international corporate and investment banking, are fighting moves by global banking head Brian Moynihan from Bank of America to remove individual managers’ power to rule on matters such as staff compensation.

Moynihan’s attempts to impose the Bank of America model on Merrill Lynch has caused widespread dissent within the bank and has led to the resignations of more than 40 senior managing directors in London and New York with more expected to follow in the coming months.

“Moynihan’s view is ‘we’ll do it the Bank of America way and no other’, even though that got them nowhere in European investment banking for the past five years, whereas the Merrill Lynch model, which delegated a lot of authority, has proven very successful over the past 10 years,” one London-based former Merrill Lynch manager tells Marketwatch’s Harry Wilson.

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