(adds detail, background)
By Saeed Azhar
SINGAPORE Jan 9 Mark Matthews, the chief Asia
strategist at Merrill Lynch, has left the firm as part of
restructuring after the U.S. bank was taken over by Bank of
America (BAC.N), sources told Reuters on Friday.
Matthews, who was a frequent guest on business news
channels, joins a number of executives who have departed since
Bank of America completed the acquisition of Merrill last week.
A source familiar with Matthews' departure told Reuters
there were other people in the research department in Asia who
will leave as part of the restructuring. He asked not to be
identified and declined to provide details because the company
is not publicly speaking about individual departures.
A Merrill spokesman also declined to comment on the
departure. Matthews did not immediately respond, but sent a
message to contacts earlier this week giving his personal email
"I wish this email could be addressed to you personally. It
has been a real pleasure servicing you and corresponding with
you from ML," Matthews wrote in the email.
Bank of America had said in December it plans to eliminate
30,000 to 35,000 jobs over three years, reflecting its pending
purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co MER.N and weaker business
activity stemming from the economic recession.
The cuts could affect as much as 11.4 percent of the
combined companies' workforce of about 308,000 people, and are
intended to help save $7 billion of annual costs.
Matthews, who joined Merrill in 2005, had started out in
equities as an analyst in Bangkok for Nomura Securities in
His name last appeared on a research report seen by Reuters
dated Jan 6.
Among high profile Merrill departures, Greg Fleming, one of
the architects of Merrill's sale to Bank of America is leaving
the combined company. [ID:nN08543360]
Yale University said Fleming -- who had been set to head
corporate and investment banking at BofA after the deal was
completed on Jan. 1 -- would join its corporate law center as a
senior research scholar this month.
On Thursday a senior executive in London, Brent Clapacs,
said he was leaving and earlier in the week Merrill's brokerage
head, Bob McCann, announced his departure, sparking concern
among investors about the outlook for Merrill's lucrative
financial advisory business.
Many other Merrill executives have kept their jobs at the
bank, including former Chief Executive John Thain, who is now
president of global banking, securities and wealth management.
(Additional reporting by Neil Chatterjee; Editing by Lincoln