When one of the most senior women in European private banking and wealth management, Eva Castillo, announced she was leaving Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the word was that this had been in the making since last summer.
Castillo is arguably one of the most powerful women in the global financial sector. She was part of Merrill’s European triumvirate, with former Europe chairman Bob Wigley, and current investment bank boss Andrea Orcel.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch wanted it to be known that Castillo’s departure was planned in the summer, ahead of new global brokerage head Sallie Krawcheck’s appointment. But there was a strange inconsistency in this story because Bank of America was touting Castillo’s important role at the firm as late as a month ago.
If Castillo was really set to leave, why would Bank of America tout her importantce.
The internal scuttlebutt at Merrill Lynch is that Bank of America had talked Castillo out of her plans to leave. They convinced her to stay on for an extended period while she got to know the new management—that is, got to know Sallie Krawcheck.
That didn’t go very well, according to a person familiar with the matter. Far from persuading Castillo to stay, Krawcheck may have made Castillo’s decision to leave even easier.
Inside of Merrill, there is a quite harsh assessment of Krawcheck being attributed to Castillo. According to the rumour Castillo said, “That woman has no idea what to do in the USA. Forget about her dealing with Europe and the Middle East.”
We haven’t been able to reach Castillo to seek confirmation or denial of the quote or the circumstances of her departure.