Bank of America Merrill Lynch has let go at least five members of its foreign exchange business in New York as part of cuts to its global banking and markets division, according to industry sources.
Joe Ziccarelli, managing director, COO of global FX is leaving, along with Dennis O’Brien, a managing director on the institutional FX desk, Mike Berry, who also worked on the institutional desk, John Bock, a directorworking within the FX e-commerce group, and John Lovette, who worked in forwards.
The cuts in FX were made as the bank last week told as many as 400 employees, or 3% of the unit’s 13,000 staff, that they were being let go.
The move is the first significant reduction in the division’s workforce since Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch in January 2009 during the financial crisis. They were made as part of a strategic review initiated by Thomas Montag, head of the division, and his management team.
Analysts say the move is designed to maximise the performance of the division amid a slowdown in trading and advisory activities across investment banks.
BAML’s global banking and markets division reported net income for the first six months of 2010 of $4.15 billion, down 35% from $6.42 billion a year prior.
However, even with the cuts, the division is expected to have hired three times more people this year than laid off, one person familiar with the matter tells Squawkbox.
Earlier this month, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said Montag’s division had hired 800 new employees overseas, focusing on Asian and European markets.