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Does everyone really want to leave ML in London?

According to a story on CNBC yesterday, Merrill Lynch is in danger of losing lots of London staff.

The crisis is such that Brian Moynihan, John Thain’s successor as head of BofA’s investment bank, is said to be in the City offering words of reassurance.

Are things really that bad? BofA appears to be doing its best to signal the importance of the Merrill franchise. Key ML bankers have been appointed to pivotal roles in the combined organization, and the Financial News reports today that BofA is contemplating a move out of Canary Wharf and into Merrill’s London offices.

Despite this, it’s said that even Andrea Orcel, head of the international investment banking business wants to leave.

The Financial Times reported that Orcel was considering his options back in February. Two senior headhunters confirm that he remains open to offers, but point out that this is surprising given his rapid ascension after Thain left.

“After Thain went, Orcel was spectacularly elevated to head the entire global investment banking business outside the US,” says one.

Orcel’s alleged urge to escape is said to be indicative of the culture clash between ML and BofA. “Merrill people are very demoralized at the moment and there’s huge animosity with the people at Bank of America who feel Merrill’s dragged them down,” says the headhunter.

Even in the current market, ML investment bankers have other options. Credit Suisse, Nomura, Rothschild and Lazard are all said to be hiring, to say nothing of various boutiques.

Comments (12)

  1. good riddance to them if they have the “cojones” to move..which i doubt.
    Unfortunately ,for most of them there are few places to go to, so we are going to be stuck with them for longer

  2. BOAred, thankyou for you guys coming in and destroying the culture of our bank. Low quality, lazy, inefficient people with rubbish degrees from joke unis. I love how you all have donuts, fairy cakes and sweeties by the desk every Friday afternoon to make yourselves feel better!! That’s what our Operations team do – oh yeah, that’s the calibre of BOA front office.

  3. really funny to see you guys fight , true the culture could not be any different but ML people if it was not for the BoAred people you would probably go bust by now. Anyway miss the ML bank what a shame, but the shiop is gone

  4. The BOA people who’ve come and joined us are SO, SO ugly!!!!! Would never have passed an interview to get into ML.

  5. BOA used to be at 1 Alie Street in Aldgate. It’s rough around there, where Jack the Ripper operated. You can take a bank out of Aldgate but you can’t….

  6. Wow, the so called “high calibre” bankers at ML who caused billions of losses are still arrogant bastards… hell, when do those morons learn their lesson? The faster the culture of ML is destroyed the better

    Neither_BOA_nor_ML Reply
  7. To blame the entire bank staff because a bank failed is like saying NASA scientists are incompetent because of the Columbia disaster.

  8. I saw a Londoner yesterday with a Merrill Lynch shirt. Honestly, why? I cannot understand the insensitivity of some of these bankers. Is it really that hard to get some humility? Someone has got to be blamed for this mess, we can’t all say don’t blame me because I was just writing C++ for the new CDO cubed product we sold to idiot customer. People worked in ibanking to get paid lots of money, why should we pity them now, after its blown up?

    If you got any kind of bonus from this business in the past you should be thanking your lucky stars and if you’ve received help from the taxpayers you should be humble.

    DontBelieveTheHype Reply
  9. “I saw a Londoner yesterday with a Merrill Lynch shirt. Honestly, why? I cannot understand the insensitivity of some of these bankers.”

    I wear my bank’s merchandise, from the ID pass round my neck, to my gym bag, to my cap and t-shirt on weekends, WITH PRIDE.

  10. It is only going to get worse as well with the 90% big swinger tax. There will be a continued daily obituary of the Merrill executive. That said, the business I work for will probably be bought by another bank within the next 2 years. That coupled with the fact that no one else is hiring means that the only real option for me is to sit it out and watch it all to disintegrate into what will become a fragmented industry once more.

    It will all come out in the wash. But that is a good thing in the long run.

    The Merrill culture is dying a slow death I am afraid

  11. hey RIPml, fancy ubs? we get pizza’s on saturdays!

  12. Long live ML! Great culture, great guys, top tier IB. Wish it didn’t have to change but so be it.

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