Bank of Amer­ica hir­ing bankers for new middle-mar­ket push

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Bank of Amer­ica Corp is hir­ing a new team of in­vest­ment bankers who cater to mid­sized com­pa­nies, four years af­ter dis­man­tling a sim­i­lar busi­ness, three peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter told me­dia. The pre­cise num­ber of middle-mar­ket bankers it plans to add could not be de­ter­mined, but one per­son said it would be fewer than 10.

The hir­ing comes as Bank of Amer­ica is re­duc­ing staff more broadly, while also try­ing to grow in ar­eas where it be­lieves it can gain mar­ket share. As the sec­ond­biggest U.S. len­der with a large com­mer- cial bank­ing busi­ness, ex­ec­u­tives be­lieve Bank of Amer­ica can make in­roads in ad­vis­ing mid­sized com­pa­nies on merg­ers and stock and bond of­fer­ings, the sources said. Bank of Amer­ica de­fines mid­dle­mar­ket as com­pa­nies with $50 mil­lion to $2 bil­lion in rev­enue. The bank also hopes the push will lead to ad­di­tional busi­ness such as man­ag­ing money for ex­ec­u­tives at mid­sized com­pa­nies.

Sources asked not to be iden­ti­fied be­cause they were not au­tho­rized to speak to the me­dia about mat­ters that have not been made pub­lic.

Bank of Amer­ica an­nounced in­ter­nal- ly last year that Vice Chair­man Mark Stephanz would cre­ate a group that pro­vides in­vest­ment bank­ing ser­vices to mid­sized com­pa­nies. The hir­ing is part of that ef­fort. His team will work to­gether with coun­ter­parts in the com­mer­cial bank who pro­vide tra­di­tional loans and cash man­age­ment ser­vices, sources said.

The Char­lotte, North Carolina-based len­der pre­vi­ously launched a middle-mar­ket busi­ness in 2007, with more than 30 in­vest­ment bankers who fo­cused on merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions. It aban­doned the ef­fort in 2012 to fo­cus on larger clients and big­ger deals, sources said. In 2015, Bank of Amer­ica ranked fourth in global M&A league ta­bles, ac­cord­ing to Thom­son Reuters data. It ranked 23rd glob­ally in deals worth $500 mil­lion or less. Bank of Amer­ica gen­er­ated around 17 per­cent of its M&A fees from middle mar­ket deals, the low­est per­cent­age of any big Wall Street bank ex­cept Gold­man Sachs Group Inc.

Last year, M&A hit a record vol­ume of nearly $5 tril­lion, due to mega deals like An­heuser-Busch In­bev SA's $106 bil­lion ac­qui­si­tion of SAB­Miller Plc and oil com­pany Royal Dutch Shell Plc's $70 bil­lion pur­chase of BG Group Plc.

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