Orcel’s move leaves a sour taste at Merrill

WHEN Bank of America Merrill Lynch star investment banker Andrea Orcel left the group last week, his departure merited just 11 words in an internal message to staff. After 20 years at the bank, Orcel’s departure was dismissed as sparsely as possible.

Why, the Capitalist argues, was the farewell message so brief?

Sources close to the bank say the terseness and brevity of the communication reflected a sour taste at the manner of Orcel’s leaving.

Prior to his departure, Orcel, who didn’t return the Capitalist’s phone call, had manoeuvred to position himself as the successor to Jonathan Moulds, the violin-loving president of Europe and Canada who is off to do philanthropic works.

Orcel’s intended move required four weeks of detailed work as the bank negotiated with regulators to gain approval for his promotion. The bank’s executives also felt let down, feeling they had tried hard to find a role that would satisfy Orcel’s ambition, only for him to ultimately leave for rival UBS. “At no time during the process did he give a heads-up on the fact he was thinking of quitting,” said one source.