Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s shake up of its municipal-bond research department has led analysts to leave while John Hallacy, the head of the unit, will retire next month, a spokeswoman said.
Hallacy, 57, confirmed he’ll step down and declined further comment in a telephone interview yesterday. Selena Morris, a Bank of America spokeswoman, said Susannah Page and Howard Sitzer, both muni strategists, were exiting.
“We will be announcing a new structure shortly,” Morris said. “We remain committed to the municipal markets.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch topped all underwriters last year in leading sales of long-term municipal debt, managing the marketing of 14 percent of all such issues, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, ahead of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc.
Wall Street firms have laid out plans to cut more than 300,000 jobs in the past 30 months as they sought to curb costs. In January, Morgan Stanley said it would eliminate 1,700 investment-banking positions and defer all bonuses for top earners. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reduced payroll expenses by more than a third in the five years through last year.
Hallacy has worked in state and local-government finance for 34 years, according to a biography provided by Bank of America. He started at Standard & Poor’s, working as a muni-debt analyst for six years.
He received a 2001 award for excellence from the National Federation of Municipal Analysts, and ranked first in Institutional Investor’s All-America Fixed-Income research team in annual surveys for eight straight years through 2010.
Hallacy also worked at public-debt insurers MBIA Inc., FGIC Corp. and Bond Investors Guaranty, according to the biography.