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Bank of America Mena head resigns

Dubai, May 3, 2012

Bank of America Corp's  investment banking head for Mena and Turkey, Waleed El-Amir, has resigned, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday, the latest top banker to leave the US lender.

El-Amir, a veteran Merrill Lynch banker, has been with the bank for 16 years and has been leading the bank's regional investment banking operations from Dubai since 2008.

A spokeswoman for the bank in Dubai declined comment. The source declined to be identified as the matter has not been made public.

El-Amir's exit is the latest blow for BofA, whose investment banking and capital markets group, led by co-chief operating officer Tom Montag, has seen upheaval in its upper ranks recently.

"Waleed leaving the bank will sure be a big blow for BofA's Middle Eastern business. It will be interesting to see who they get in to replace him. Obviously, that will be a tough task," a Dubai-based banker at a large international bank said, declining to be identified.

Key executives such as European dealmaker Andrea Orcel and corporate and investment banking chairman Michael Rubinoff have departed for other jobs in recent months, leaving few Merrill veterans in top positions.

Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch in 2008.

At least six BofA bankers followed top European dealmaker Andrea Orcel to UBS, just weeks after the Swiss bank hired the Italian to co-head its investment bank.

The source did not know if El-Amir was joining UBS.

Last week, the bank hired Alex Wilmot-Sitwell from UBS as president of Europe and emerging markets, excluding Asia.

BofA is planning to cut about 300 jobs in its investment banking and capital markets group, as it struggles to rein in costs to make up for weak revenue growth, sources familiar with the situation said earlier in the week.

In the first four months of this year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch dropped in the league tables in some key businesses as total volume shrinks, Thomson Reuters data shows.

The bank fell to No. 8 in worldwide announced mergers and acquisitions from No. 3 in the same period a year ago, and to No. 7 from No. 2 in global equity capital markets deals.

In the Middle East, the bank ranked No.2 on M&A, behind HSBC Holdings for the first-quarter of 2012. It was the top bank in the syndicated loan fee league table during the period. – Reuters




Tags: Mena | Dubai | Investment banking | Bank of America | Waleed El-Amir |

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