John Thain's Farewell To Greg Fleming: "A Friend And A Mentor"


At this point, all John Thain does is write memos announcing that his "friends" are runningfor the exits. Today is no exception. Will he start doing so for the mini Merrills leaving less voluntarily? We have it on good authority he just might.

Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 5:17 PM
Subject: Greg Fleming to Leave the Firm
A message from John Thain, president of Global Banking, Securities & Wealth Management:
Greg Fleming to Leave the Firm
Dear Colleagues:
Greg Fleming, head of Global Corporate, Commercial and Investment Banking (GCCIB) and former president and chief operating officer of Merrill Lynch, has informed me of his decision to leave the firm to become the Senior Research Scholar and Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School.
Greg was appointed president and chief operating officer of Merrill Lynch in June of 2007. Greg displayed tremendous leadership during a very difficult environment for both the firm and the industry and was instrumental in helping guide Merrill Lynch through a number of challenging events, culminating in negotiations to be acquired by Bank of America. I also want to thank Greg for his work during the merger transition in helping to establish an outstanding platform and leadership team for the Global Corporate, Commercial and Investment Banking Group.
Greg told me: "Merrill Lynch has been my professional home for the past 16 years, and I leave with mixed emotions. I have tremendous respect and admiration for the company, its culture, my colleagues and our clients around the world. As difficult as this decision is, I simply felt that this was the right time for me to look toward a different set of challenges."
Prior to becoming president and chief operating officer of Merrill Lynch, Greg played a major role in building a top-tier investment bank at the firm. From 2003 to 2007, he was executive vice president and co-president of Global Markets and Investment Banking and also led the Global Financial Institutions Group. He was a managing director of Global Investment Banking from 1998 and ran the United States Financial Institutions Group from 1999 to 2003. He joined the firm in 1992.
Greg has been a friend and mentor to many at Merrill Lynch and I know that you join me in thanking Greg for his service and in wishing him and his family every happiness in the future.

Earlier: Greg Fleming Leaving Bank Of Amerillwide


John Thain Is Ready For His Next Challenge

After he was unceremoniously fired from his post at the newly formed Bank of America Merrill Lynch, for reasons that included paying out big bonuses to ML executives and decorating his office with $1,500 garbage cans, John Thain understood that he would have to recede from the limelight for a bit. Take a job at a smaller firm and keep his head down for a while. Spend more time with his honeybees. Get back to his fighting weight. Drink a raw egg for breakfast every day. Run up and down the stairs of the Met. Work in a hideously decorated space, no matter how much it hurt.  Win some awards. Get his confidence back. Let people miss him. Well, Thain did all that. And now? He's ready for you to make him an offer. Thain, currently the CEO of a small lending outfit called CIT Group, has been quietly shopping the firm to a larger player with the goal of selling possibly to a big bank and emerging as a candidate to run the bigger company, according to investment bankers with direct knowledge of the matter. Bankers say Thain began putting out feelers to sell CIT after the firm failed in its bid to purchase ING Direct earlier in the year. “They've been shopping themselves off and on because they have virtually no deposit base and thus no low-cost source of funds to run their business,” said one banker at a major firm with knowledge of CIT’s activities. “Thain may also be putting out feelers, trying to get a drumbeat going. Who knows, but it's certain he's up to something.” Anyone want to give him a big boy bank (or something) to run? Read more: Looking For A Comeback, John Thain Shops CIT [FBN]