New York: Bank of America Corp hired Ethan Harris as head of North America economics and David Bianco as head of US equity strategy, two of the highest-profile appointments since the bank acquired Merrill Lynch & Co.
Harris joins Banc of America Securities-Merrill Lynch Research from Barclays Plc’s Barclays Capital unit, where he was co-chief US economist and co-head of US economic research.
Bianco joins from UBS AG, where he had been chief US equity portfolio strategist and head of US valuation and accounting research.
Harris succeeds David Rosenberg, who departed for Canadian wealth management company Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc. Bianco succeeds Richard Bernstein, who left to start his own firm.
Barclays separately named Dean Maki chief US economist and head of US economic research. He had shared those roles with Harris, the company said.
Several top executives and strategists have left Bank of America since the company bought Merrill Lynch on 1 January.
On 11 May, Kenneth Lewis, Bank of America’s chief executive, said on a conference call that “we have lost some people that we did not want to lose” at Merrill. “On the other hand, business is really good.”
Harris joined Barclays when it bought parts of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, which went bankrupt in September. He had joined Lehman in 1996, and since 2003 had been its chief US economist. Harris previously worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and at JPMorgan & Co.
Bianco worked at Deutsche Bank AG as chief US quantitative strategist and at Credit Suisse First Boston before joining UBS.
Harris will join Bank of America in September, and Bianco in July. Both will report to Adam Quinton, head of global macro research. Reuters had reported Harris’ hiring.
Separately, Bank of America reorganized its global macro group, and named Michael Hartnett as chairman of its research investment committee and as chief global equity strategist.