Merrill/Bank America Departures

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

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