Andrea Orcel's departure will leave a big gap at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In a world where contacts and relationships matter so much, the suave late 40s banker had it all. His contacts include Santander, Danske Bank, Unicredit (where he helped BoAML take a lead role in the rights issue earlier this year) and the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. He has worked on some of the biggest mergers in European banking history, including, unfortunately for him perhaps, the takeover of ABN Amro by RBS, which brought the Edinburgh bank to its knees.
Christian Meissner, who won the biggest investment banking job at BoAML in January, was yesterday awarded more responsibility. In the wake of the departures of Orcel and Moulds, the Austrian-born former Lehman and Goldman Sachs banker has been appointed interim president of Europe and Emerging Markets (ex-Asia). Meissner will continue to be head of global corporate & investment banking and will continue to be based in London during this interim period. Meissner is popular internally and may be relieved by the exit of Orcel, who always posed a threat.
Jonathan Moulds, president of Europe and Canada, indicated earlier this year that he wished to retire from the firm to focus on a number of philanthropic projects. Moulds has worked for Bank of America for 18 years, during which time he has been based in the US and Europe. Outside the bank Moulds is known well for his charitable and philanthropic work. He is a legendary collector of priceless violins which he lends out to talented musicians. He was an important and generous supporter of City A.M.’s Christmas charity appeal on behalf of the bank.