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BofA’s Montana Said to Be Among 30 Cuts in Sales, Trading

BofA’s Montana Said to Be Among 30 Dismissals in Sales, Trading
The Bank of America Corp. logo is displayed in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp.’s Matthew Montana, who ran international equities trading from New York, was among more than 30 trading and sales employees dismissed this month, people with direct knowledge of the moves said.

Montana, a managing director, was among staff targeted as the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender sought to reduce compensation costs, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the moves weren’t announced.

Wall Street firms are shrinking expenses amid a slump in stock transactions. Bank of America’s revenue from equities sales and trading declined 24 percent last year to $3 billion, while fixed-income, currency and commodities trading sales were almost unchanged at $8.8 billion. Co-Chief Operating Officer Thomas K. Montag, 56, oversees the trading and investment-banking divisions of the second-biggest U.S. lender.

“In capital markets, that’s where technology has really hit the equity business, and as the business gets smaller, there’s less room for managing directors,” said Richard Lipstein, managing director of New York-based recruiting firm Gilbert Tweed International.

The bank also eliminated a position held by Matthew Unsworth, head of Australian equities in Sydney, a person with knowledge of that decision said earlier this month. Equities trading, sales and risk personnel in Australia will now report to managers in Hong Kong, the person said.

Industry Cuts

Harvey Potter, a salesman on the bank’s distressed debt desk for almost three years, also left this month, said one of the people. Potter, who spent more than a decade in distressed debt sales at firms including Bear Stearns Cos. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, didn’t return calls seeking comment.

Morgan Stanley will eliminate about 1,600 investment banking and support jobs, or about 6 percent of the firm’s institutional securities group, a person with knowledge of the matter said in January. Citigroup Inc. said in December it would cut 11,000 jobs and exit some markets, while UBS AG said in October that it would fire 10,000 workers and largely exit fixed-income trading.

Bank of America Chief Executive Office Brian T. Moynihan, 53, has leaned more heavily on retail banking than trading for headcount reductions as he seeks to trim $8 billion in annual costs. The lender cut staff by 14,601 people last year and had 267,190 workers at the end of 2012.

Kerrie McHugh, a Bank of America spokeswoman, and Montana didn’t comment on the changes when reached by phone.

To contact the reporter on this story: 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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