Bank of Amer­ica fires 15 se­nior Asia bankers

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Bank of Amer­ica Corp fired at least 15 se­nior bankers at its in­vest­ment-bank­ing unit in Asia this week as it pares jobs glob­ally, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter.

Among those let go by the Char­lotte, North Carolina-based bank were three man­ag­ing di­rec­tors and 12 di­rec­tors, the peo­ple said, ask­ing not to be iden­ti­fied dis­cussing con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion. Bank of Amer­ica also elim­i­nated ju­nior po­si­tions and back­of­fice jobs, they said with­out pro­vid­ing de­tails on those cuts.

Wang Bing, a man­ag­ing di­rec­tor in the China in­vest­ment-bank­ing busi­ness, and Pa­trick Steine­mann, co-head of Asia in­dus­tri­als bank­ing, are among ex­ec­u­tives leav­ing the bank, the peo­ple said. Most of the cuts came in Hong Kong, along with re­duc­tions in Sin­ga­pore and Aus­tralia, the peo­ple said. An­drew Brown, a man­ag­ing di­rec­tor re­spon­si­ble for cov­er­age of top clients, also left, they said. In­vest­ment banks world­wide have been cut­ting jobs in re­cent months as stock-mar­ket tur­moil and a slow­ing Chi­nese econ­omy put the brakes on deal­mak­ing and trad­ing. Cit­i­group Inc. this week fore­cast firstquar­ter rev­enue from in­vest­ment bank­ing will tum­ble 25 per­cent, and Deutsche Bank AG on Fri­day an­nounced steep cuts in bonuses.

Paul Scan­lon, a spokesman for Bank of Amer­ica, de­clined to com­ment. Wang re­joined Bank of Amer­ica in 2009 as head of China cor­po­rate fi­nance fol­low­ing a brief hia­tus, af­ter hav­ing worked there from 2004 to 2008. He was pro­moted to co­head of China in­vest­ment bank­ing in 2011 and ceded that po­si­tion in late 2014. Steine­mann, who joined Mer­rill Lynch & Co. about a decade be­fore its ac­qui­si­tion by Bank of Amer­ica, was named co-head of Asia in­dus­tri­als in­vest­ment bank­ing in June 2012.

Bar­clays Plc ear­lier this year ex­ited its cashe­quities busi­ness in Asia and also cut in­vest­ment­bank­ing jobs in the re­gion. Mark Wil­liams, No­mura Hold­ings Inc.'s head of in­vest­ment bank­ing for Asia out­side Ja­pan, is among other re­cent in­dus­try de­par­tures. Be­fore it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Ter­mi­nal.

Bank of Amer­ica still has quite a bit of work to do be­fore it can re­cover from the Jan­uary sell­off. The stock has re­bounded nicely off of Fe­bru­ary's spike low, but more bas­ing work will need to be done be­fore it can take out the $14.50 area. In the near term, Bank of Amer­ica is in a low-risk buy zone. If the stock can re­main above the March low, the cur­rent bot­tom­ing ac­tion will con­tinue to im­prove.

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