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BofA’s Samuels Said Among Global Equity Sales Staff Leaving

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BofA’s Samuels Said Among Staff to Depart at Global Equity Sales
Bank of America Corp. cut more than 30 employees from trading and sales this month to lower costs while pursuing selective hires. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp.’s Ben Samuels, head of a global equities sales desk in London, was among employees who left amid cuts at the company’s investment bank this month, said two people with knowledge of the moves.

Samuels, a managing director, as well as Bruce Robb, who was on a similar team based in New York, were among people to go in the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank’s latest job cuts, said the people, who asked for anonymity because the moves were private. The global equities desks identify promising stocks for institutional clients regardless of where they’re listed, unlike teams focusing on U.S., European or Asian companies.

Bank of America cut more than 30 employees from trading and sales this month to lower costs while pursuing selective hires, said the people. The equities staff was harder hit by terminations than other areas, said another person with knowledge of the actions. 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.

James Davidson, a managing director on the London equity sales team, is leaving Bank of America for a job in the same city with JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset-management division, said Darin Oduyoye, a spokesman for the New York-based lender.

Kerrie McHugh, a Bank of America spokeswoman, said the company had no comment and Samuels declined to comment. Robb and Davidson didn’t respond to calls on their office and mobile phones seeking comment.

Retail Targeted

Matthew Montana, a managing director who ran international equities trading from New York, also left, the people said last week. The bank eliminated the position held by Matthew Unsworth, head of Australian equities in Sydney, said a person with knowledge of that decision. Equities trading, sales and risk personnel in Australia now report to managers in Hong Kong.

Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, 53, has targeted retail banking more than trading to reduce headcount as he seeks to eliminate $8 billion in annual costs. The firm’s staff shrank by 14,601 people in 2012, leaving 267,190 workers at year’s end, according to figures it released in January.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugh Son in New York at hson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net; Rick Green at rgreen18@bloomberg.net

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