Top banker jumps ship to Merrill from Swiss rival

IN a blow to UBS’s UK investment bank, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch has poached one of its top managing directors.

Jonathan Bewes, whose client list boasts Capital Shopping Centres, Rentokil, Home Retail Group and Carphone Warehouse, will start at his new post in October.

The move forms part of a broader strategy to grow Merrill Lynch’s broking business in London.

But it adds insult to injury for its rival UBS, which recently dropped behind BoA/ML into third place for serving the most FTSE 100 clients as broker.

Merrill also recently hired managing directors from Nomura, taking on Ed Peel in corporate broking, and HM Treasury, which lost Dan Rosenfeld to the bank.

Like its rivals, BoA/ML has suffered from slow trading volumes and has no plans to boost headcount overall.

But the investment bank also recently reported its best results in its advisory business since the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch merger during the financial crisis.