Investment bankers feign surprise as man rarely seen in the office quits before bonuses

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It's not easy being a senior M&A banker. On one hand, you're expected to be out on the road, pressing the flesh, lining up deals with clients. On the other, you need to be in the office, motivating juniors, watching your back and building your network of internal supporters in case things take a turn for the worse.

Diego De Giorgi, Bank of America's departing head of global investment banking, seems to have chosen the former modus operandi over the latter. Last October, the Financial Times said De Giorgi had infrequently been seen in the London or New York offices over the previous 18 months after spending 'extended periods travelling away.' Today, Matthew Koder, the 'numbers guy' promoted to head Bank of America's corporate and investment banking division following the exit of Christian Meissner in September, said De Giorgi has decided to quit.

Although De Giorgi is technically leaving before BofA's 2018 bonuses are either announced or paid, BAML's M&A bankers are unlikely to be surprised. "He wasn't entirely present," says one observer, speaking off the record and noting that De Giorgi's exit became a near inevitability when Meissner left. The two men worked together at Goldman Sachs and Meissner promoted De Giorgi to lead the business in 2016. "This was always going to happen," says one M&A headhunter. "Meissner and De Giorgi are incredibly close and everyone was expecting this." De Giorgi is a hugely personable, "hugely intelligent" guy, he adds.

Irrespective of his intelligence and pleasant character, some at BAML may welcome the exit of De Giorgi and Meissner. - The FT claimed last year that both he and Meissner preferred bankers who were loyal to them. Now, BAML's bankers will need to transfer their loyalty to Koder and his newly appointed heads of investment banking, Jack MacDonald and Thomas Sheehan, both of whom happen to be based in the US. By comparison, De Giorgi was based in London. - His exit, and the the fact that Luigi Rizzo, BAML's EMEA head of investment banking, is moving to Paris, leaves London bankers looking curiously exposed.

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