FINSwire Jun 20 2011

BofA's Montag Replaces Outgoing Gu With Seebacher as Currencies Head

By david benoit

The head of global rates and currency trading at Bank of America Corp. is retiring, according to an internal memo Monday.

The departure of David Gu, who was also co-head of the investment banking operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, is one of three changes in the banks' executives detailed in the memo from investment banking head Thomas Montag.

Gu was among the highest-paid employees at Merrill Lynch in 2008, when the firm was sold to Bank of America amid the financial crisis. The pay of some executives there, and their bonuses, was a key point of contention and Gu's pay was included in a subpoena request from then New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo, according to the Wall Street Journal. Gu made $18.7 million in 2008, according to the Journal, after making $19.8 million in 2007.

Gerhard Seebacher, a 15-year veteran of the bank, will take over Gu's role as head of global rates, foreign exchange and structured credit trading.

Meanwhile, Graham Goldsmith will replace Seebacher as head of global credit products, in addition to Goldsmith's current role as global loans and special situations head. Goldsmith has been at Merrill since 1994.

Both Seebacher and Goldsmith will be based in New York, according to the memo. The changes take place immediately.

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch has been expanding foreign-exchange trading services, including new hires and a push to improve its technology.

In March, Montag said the FX business "is another business that we're not getting enough out of the banking franchise as we need, and have continued to invest in that business." He said he intends for the bank to "be a first-rate FX player."

Earlier this month the company hired a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, Kevin Connors, as the global head of FX sales. In March, the bank hired Craig Reynolds from Goldman Sachs to head its North America rates trading.

David Benoit is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, where this story originally appeared. Write to him here.

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