Bank of America Corp.’s technology services analyst, James Kissane, was hired by rival Credit Suisse Group AG to cover the industry, said three people with direct knowledge of the move.
The analyst left willingly and his departure wasn’t part of a staff reduction at the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank, said two of the people, who declined to be identified because the move was private. Kissane spent 11 years covering technology firms for New York-based Bear Stearns Cos. before joining Bank of America as a managing director, the lender said in July 2008.
Kissane covered firms involved in electronic payments including MasterCard Inc. and Western Union Co. His efforts won him a spot on Institutional Investors’ 2000 All America Research Team. He was also the first analyst to recommend avoiding Visa Inc. stock in September 2010, citing the impact of regulation, and predicted Visa shares would trade at $70 by September 2011. The firm has gained about 20 percent since that call.
“He’s in a very hot space; we’re seeing talent like him being sought after by other firms,” said Jeanne Branthover, a managing director at Boyden Global Executive Search Ltd. in New York. “Financial technology services is an area that’s still growing, so some people are getting better offers to leave.”
Kissane can’t start at Credit Suisse until his so-called garden leave agreement with Bank of America expires in several weeks, one of the people said. Susan McCabe Walley, a spokeswoman for Bank of America, and Karen Laureano-Rikardsen of Credit Suisse said they couldn’t comment.
Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, 51, is trimming staff as costs from soured mortgages rise and revenue shrinks amid the slowing economy. The bank said in September it will eliminate 30,000 jobs from retail banking and will examine institutional and corporate units, which includes research, in the next phase of Moynihan’s expense-cutting.
An earlier round of cuts announced in August trimmed as many as 600 positions in the global banking and markets group.