Two heavy hitters have departed Merrill Lynch (or, as it is now called, Bank of America ): David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist for Merrill, and Richard Bernstein, their chief investment strategist.
Rosie is returning home to Canada where he is joining Gluskin Sheff & Associates in Toronto; Bernstein is starting his own money management company.
Here is the official announcement (via Bloomberg) from the President of BAC:
David has made the decision to leave the firm after nine years as an economist due to family issues of a personal nature. He has relocated to his hometown of Toronto, Canada and intends to return to the financial services industry with a buy-side firm in Toronto. Rich, after more than 20 years as a sell-side strategist, has made the decision to pursue new challenges, including potential opportunities on the buy-side, teaching and perhaps authoring another book.
It is of course, standard corporate speak.
Bank of America has had huge problems absorbing Merrill — the culture is very different, the businesses don’t mesh well.
I suspect both analysts have been chafing under the new regime; Rosenberg’s star has clearly risen over the past 2 years, and its easy to see him being taken for granted by BofA.
Bernstein (also a star) very publicly trashed the banks yesterday, and while you can do that when you work for Merrill, I would imagine its frowned upon when the name over the door is Bank of America. “Exploring opportunities” is corporate speak for shown the door (I am curious if can confirm if RB was pushed).
Bernstein, Rosenberg Plan to Leave Bank of America
Bob Ivry and David Mildenberg
Bloomberg, March 242009