Bank of America Said to Dismiss Bankers in Brazil, Chile Units

  • Bianchi, Almendra, Mandel said to be among departures
  • Firm said to be closing onshore equities operation in Chile

Bank of America Corp. dismissed three investment bankers from its Brazilian unit and is in the process of eliminating seven from its brokerage in Chile as part of a series of global cuts, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Pedro Bianchi, head of debt capital markets in Brazil, as well as Eduardo Almendra and Alexandre Mandel in Sao Paulo and George Costa e Silva, an investment banker focusing on Latin America in New York, left last week, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters. Bank of America is also closing its onshore equities operations in Chile where the seven employees worked, the people said.

Bianchi declined to comment, as did Tom Rottcher, a spokesman for the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank. An employee who answered the phone at the lender’s Sao Paulo office said Almendra and Mandel no longer worked there. Almendra and Costa e Silva didn’t immediately respond to e-mails sent to their LinkedIn accounts.

This year’s global market turmoil is putting pressure on Wall Street to trim expenses as clients pull back and corporations refrain from selling some types of securities. Bank of America has been trying to cut investment-banking costs under an edict from Chief Operating Officer Thomas Montag.

The bank will continue trading Chilean equities for clients offshore from New York and through a Chilean broker, according to Manuel Irarrazaval, who heads operations in Latin America outside Brazil and Mexico. The brokerage will continue trading bonds and currencies, he told El Mercurio newspaper in an interview published Monday.

Bank of America fired at least 15 senior bankers at its investment-banking unit in Asia last week, people with knowledge of the matter said. Among those let go were three managing directors and 12 directors, the people said, adding that the firm also eliminated junior positions and back-office jobs.

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