Yunho Song, head of the rates and currencies business at Bank of America, is no longer with the bank. Recruiters say Song mysteriously resigned just prior to bonus time.
Bank of America declined to comment on Song's departure, but a colleague confirmed that he was no longer working for the bank in London.
Prior to joining BofA, Song was chief trader at the California office of BlueCrest Capital Management. He reportedly left BlueCrest in 2006 after making a wrong bet on Japanese interest rates.
Song's departure is said to be causing consternation in Bank of America's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) fixed income business. BofA's global FICC business had an epic fourth quarter. While average revenues in the business declined by 8% year-on-year at U.S. banks in general (after allowing for accounting foibles), Bank of America's FICC revenues rose by 8%.
Traders may therefore have thought they wouldn't be paid too badly. Except their chief protector has just quit. The most recently available pay figures for compensation in the City of London (for 2012), show that Bank of America is one of the least generous banks when it comes to paying risk takers and senior staff.
[Addendum: Headhunters say BofA announced its bonuses yesterday and that they were disappointing in the rates business. Under UK law, a bonus need not be paid if an individual is not in employment on the date the bonus is paid out.]