BofA poaches Bischof from M Stanley as banks eye wave of finance M&A
Eric Bischof, a top financial services banker who advised the US government during the 2008 financial crisis, has been poached from Morgan Stanley by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The veteran banker, who advised the New York Federal Reserve Bank on the implosion of AIG, will become the global co-head of BofA’s financial institutions group, according to an internal memo obtained by the Financial Times.
The move comes at a time when bankers expect a fresh wave of deals in the financial services sectors amid a more relaxed regulatory environment under Donald Trump’s administration. It is a big loss for Morgan Stanley and a coup for BofA, where global investment banking fees have risen 13 per cent to $1bn so far this year, putting the bank just behind JPMorgan Chase, according to Dealogic.
Mr Bischof has worked on some of the largest deals in the insurance sector over the past decade, from the sale of key parts of AIG in the aftermath of the financial crisis to more recent block buster and marque transactions.
Although Mr Bischof has deeper knowledge and experience in the insurance sector, he will also be co-heading the banking division, amid a surge in optimism around the banking sector since the election of Mr Trump. The new president’ s promises of stronger growth, lower taxes and lighter regulation have boosted the KBW Banks Index about 30 per cent since his election, prompting executives to consider share-for-share deals for the first time in years.
Regulators, too, appear to be looking more favourably on the idea of consolidation within the banking sector.
Mergers between banks have stalled since the financial crisis — several proposed acquisitions have been scrapped because regulators took too long to approve them.
But last week the US Federal Reserve made it easier for banks to merge by lifting the combined size threshold that would trigger a much deeper regulatory review, from $25bn to $100bn.