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BofA’s Rubinoff Said to Quit After Losing Role

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April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp.’s Michael Rubinoff quit after losing his role this year as co-head of global corporate and investment banking, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.

Rubinoff stepped down this week as chairman of that business, said the people, declining to be identified because the move hasn’t been announced. He didn’t respond to messages left at his Bank of America office, and John Yiannacopoulos, a company spokesman, declined to comment.

“He was probably unhappy,” said Paul Sorbera, president of New York-based executive search firm Alliance Consulting. “It sounds like other folks advanced and he lost out in some of those battles. If you are in that situation, whether it’s right or wrong, it could feel personally unrewarding.”

Rubinoff joins a growing number of senior executives to leave the company’s investment bank, which is led by co-Chief Operating Officer Thomas K. Montag. Andrea Orcel, the division’s chairman and a top dealmaker, and James Forbes, who oversaw $30 billion in the bank’s principal investments, joined UBS AG in the past month. Jonathan Moulds, president of Europe and emerging markets, is retiring in June.

Christian Meissner was named sole leader of global corporate and investment banking in January, less than a year after he, Rubinoff and Paul Donofrio were appointed to co-head that unit. Montag shook up the division after the broader investment bank, including trading, posted an annual profit that plunged by half to $2.97 billion in 2011 as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis roiled markets.

Deepening Relationships

At the time, Rubinoff, 49, was given the chairman title along with Purna Saggurti, and was made responsible for deepening relationships with chief executive officers and directors of large corporations. Bank of America has worked on Safra Group’s agreement to pay more than 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.1 billion) for a controlling stake in wealth manager Bank Sarasin & Cie. AG, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Rubinoff said he plans to work for the Safra family, according to the people. Safra Group controls Brazil’s Banco Safra SA and is led by Joseph Safra, the world’s 52nd-richest person, according to Forbes magazine. Robert Siegfried, a spokesman for Sao Paulo-based Banco Safra, declined to comment.

In a memo to employees, Montag called Rubinoff an “accomplished” banker to some of the world’s largest financial firms who helped Bank of America strengthen its capital level through asset sales.

Wilmot-Sitwell Hired

Separately, Montag told employees today that he hired Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, the chairman of UBS’s investment bank, to replace Moulds as president of Europe and emerging markets, excluding Asia. Wilmot-Sitwell, 51, had worked at Switzerland’s largest lender for more than 15 years. He was co-head of the investment bank before moving to Hong Kong to help oversee UBS’s Asia-Pacific business. He became chairman in April.

Orcel, who will serve as co-head of UBS’s investment bank, joined Merrill Lynch & Co. in 1992. The Swiss bank also lured four other Bank of America workers, including Javier Martinez-Piqueras, a managing director in equity capital markets, and Javier Oficialdegui, who advises clients in the financial services industry.

Orcel was among the biggest dealmakers at Merrill Lynch when the firm was independent, leading the team that helped Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc buy ABN Amro Holding NV in 2008 in the biggest banking takeover. Orcel was named chairman of global banking and markets after Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch in 2009.

To contact the reporters on this story: Cristina Alesci in New York at calesci2@bloomberg.net; Hugh Son in New York at hson1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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