Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Strip-steakKnown inside Merrill as the “wellness initiative,” Thiel has been advocating his employees embrace a New Age cultural lifestyle that includes meditation and drinking wheatgrass and cucumber juice during firm gathering…But at the meeting on Tuesday night, without Thiel present, the old Thundering Herd, as Merrill’s brokers are known, was back on display. Speeches from management included testimonials about veteran brokers, and remarks about financial markets. Also noticeably absent: Any trace of wheatgrass or cucumber juice on the menu, or any of the so-called wellness gurus or new age lifestyle experts Thiel featured at past events. Instead, brokers feasted on “meat, potatoes and booze,” according to one person who was present. “It’s the way you’re supposed to feed the Thundering Herd.” [FBN, related, related]

  • 11 Nov 2014 at 2:52 PM

Pay Hike Watch ’14: Bank of America

money-showerThe House of Moynihan is said to have gone the way of Credit Suisse, Jefferies, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley, and given its tiniest bankers a little something extra. Read more »

No good?At Thiel’s instruction, Johnson has for the last year been traveling the country teaching Merrill Lynch advisers how to lead healthier lives. He urges brokers – and, in some cases, their family members and clients – to include liver oil, wheatgrass, flax, chia and a type of algae called spirulina in their diets, and to take relaxing baths with Epsom salt to unwind. “They’re starting to go down the medication path. They have acid reflux. They don’t sleep. They feel crummy. They’re drinking too much. They gain too much weight,” Johnson said of the Merrill employees who most need his advice. With that lifestyle, he said, “they’re not going to be a good adviser. If I’m coming to my adviser, I want them to be healthy.” [...] some Merrill employees have told Reuters in recent weeks that Thiel is so enthusiastic about healthy living that it has caused some hard-charging, long-time advisers to bristle. These employees have been annoyed to receive advice about health and wellness from Thiel when they would prefer to discuss business concerns with him, several sources said. One Bank of America executive said brokers have complained about tofu burgers served at a retreat for top producers. [Reuters]

An automated e-mail reply from the Bank of America Corp. account of Rurik Jutting yesterday said he was out of the office “indefinitely” and recommended contacting someone who’s not “an insane psychopath.” Calls to the work and mobile phones of Jutting weren’t answered yesterday outside of office hours, and Paul Scanlon, a spokesman for Bank of America in Hong Kong, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News. A Rurik Jutting who is 29 and until recently worked for Bank of America has been named by the South China Morning Post, the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper and Sky News as the suspect in the murder of two women in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district…The automated reply also said: “For escalation please contact God, though suspect the devil will have custody. [Last line only really worked if I had followed through..]” [Bloomberg]

Over the last several years, Bank of America has paid something like $827 billion in fines and settlements, including $16.65 billion just last month. So while another billion here or there would represent but a drop in the bucket, you can sort of understand why Moynihan et al would be done, emotionally, cutting these checks and why they would try and get out of whatever penalties they can, however thin the arguments for doing so (“Just put us out of our misery already”) may be. Unfortunately, today is apparently not Moynihan’s day and tomorrow’s not looking very good either. Read more »

  • 16 Sep 2014 at 11:47 AM

Layoffs Watch ’14: Bank of America

Cuts are said to have begun at the House ‘o Bri-Moy. Read more »

  • 10 Sep 2014 at 3:17 PM

Layoffs Watch ’14: Bank of America

Traders at at the House of Moynihan should reportedly gird their loins as of next Monday. Read more »