Lunchtime Links: When Orcel arrives, will Kengeter go? And what will this mean for everyone else at UBS and BAML?

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Revolving door of redundancies and recruitment

Revolving door of redundancies and recruitment

Andrea Orcel doesn’t really need to work. In 2008, he famously got a $34m bonus from Merrill Lynch. In 2007, his bonus was $38m. Nevertheless, Orcel isn’t retiring: he’s leaving Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he’s been for decades (and was about to be promoted to BofA’s president for Europe), and is apparently joining UBS as co-head of the investment bank with Carsten Kengeter.

Orcel’s departure has been rumoured ever since Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch, but it still looks like a bit of a disaster – particularly as Jonathan Moulds, president of the bank’s European business and an 18 year veteran of the bank, is stepping down at the same time.

What does this mean for BAML? Orcel’s exit could precipitate leakage of its European M&A talent to UBS. It will now be up to Christian Meissner, promoted to sole head of investment banking in February (a move that may have miffed Orcel) to hold everything together.

And what does it mean for UBS? In particular, what about Kengeter? He’s been managing the investment banking business single handedly since 2009. Now, he will have to share. Worse, he will be obliged to share with Orcel, who is apparently very friendly with UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti. Orcel’s arrival could also signify a further downgrading of UBS’s FICC business in terms of importance at UBS: Kengeter is a FICC man; Orcel is an investment banker specializing in FIG.


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