So, Bank of America actually circulated its list of new managing directors (MDs) in sales and trading, finally. Bloomberg published a list of 74 names late last week. Bank of America isn't commenting. Nor is it officially releasing its list of investment banking MDs, which may be a bit more contentious after BofA hired at least 27 new banking managing directors externally in 2019.
If you work in sales and trading for BofA, the 74 new promotions have a few implications for what it takes to get ahead there now. Anyone aspiring to get promoted next year may want to take note, particularly as the markets business seemed to be the area struggling at the end of 2019.
You're probably most likely to get promoted to MD in sales; you're least likely to get promoted in research
This may simply be a reflection of the fact that there are usually more staff in sales than other markets functions, but BofA's new MD list is comparatively loaded with people bringing its products to customers.
Sales promotions for 2019 included: Rod Burns, the head of West Coast execution sales in America; Sonia Chandnani in prime brokerage sales; Amanda Deckelman in Chicago rates sales; Ryan Driscoll in structured product sales; Christin Hinkle in equity derivative sales; Josephine Kim, head of Asia execution services sales; Grant Koziol in London hedge fund sales; Quentin Lancon in London fixed income sales; David Litt in U.S. fixed income sales; Shaamil Magecha in ABS sales; and Chris Mercer in U.S. credit sales.
By comparison, we only count a handful of new research managing directors, including the telecoms, media and internet analyst, Sachin Salgaonkar, the telecoms media and technology analyst Cesar Tiron, Nathan Zibilich in Asia and the U.S. banks analyst Ebrahim Poonawala.
The implication is that BofA has more of a sales-led than a research-led culture. Mark Cabana, a rates strategist who joined from the Fed in 2015, made the list too.
You can make big money in trading without being an MD
This probably applies everywhere, but it's worth noting that Tim Murtha, a fixed income ETF trader, has only just been promoted to MD in trading, despite allegedly being paid $1.4m four years ago.
Similarly, there are several senior traders on the list who had big job titles but weren't previously MDs. They include: Stephen Peyser, head of U.S. cash equities trading; Alex Naboicheck, head of U.S. loan trading and Vincent Littke, head of Asian distressed debt trading.
It's all about structured products
When Goldman Sachs announced its managing directors last year there were plenty of structured products professionals getting moved up. UBS too this week said it plans to focus on structured products as investors look for "yield protection."
Bank of America seems to be pushing the same message. Its new MDs include Rico Arguello and Don Nguyen in CLOs, Alexey Demyanov and Don Ellithorpe in structuring and various people in 'solutions' (eg. Niels Christensen, who heads equity derivative solutions for Northern Europe.)
Quant trading can be a route to MD
Sinead Brogan, the London head of the quant solutions product is on the list. So is quant analyst Chiyan Luo. So is Shrijit Plappally, head of the EMEA central risk book.
There are also some big names in BofA's electronic execution team: Joel Stainton, who's responsible for high touch direct electronic access execution in EMEA and Bill Lyons, head of rates electronic trading for EMEA & APAC.
The middle office is a route to MD too
The 74 names on BofA's list only include markets professionals, so technologists aren't on there. However, the markets names include a significant number of chief operating officers across BofA's businesses. This probably reflects the importance of getting the infrastructure right in a world where efficient execution is everything.
The COO promotions include: Jean-Baptiste Binz, COO for flow credit trading and structured products; Annamaria Timofte, COO for electronic trading; and Christopher Wood, COO for fixed income.
The only other thing to note is that we can't see many promotions in Paris. This seems unlikely. Maybe we're missing something? If you're in Paris at BofA and you see promotions please let us know in the comment box below.
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Photo: Bank of America