Bank Of America Doesn't Understand That Junior Mistmakers Are Special

If it did, the BAC would be treating its li'l bankers as though they were individuals with unique talents rather than lumping them together and calling them all by the same name. Anyway, here are a few more details about Brian Moynihan et al's plan (announced yesterday) to fire a bunch of senior people and bus teams of junior employees around wherever they're needed to pick up the slack. From the front lines: "Worord is BofA will merge junior banker resources into several broad "superpods" across the bank. Appears to affect analysts, associates, and some VPs. Also some rumors that the juniors making up the superpods might be co-located. Essentially they just became that much more interchangeable and replaceable and commodified. Politics and turf battles here between groups are pretty bad as it is...this is only going to make it 5000x worse."
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If it did, the BAC would be treating its li'l bankers as though they were individuals with unique talents rather than lumping them together and calling them all by the same name. Anyway, here are a few more details about Brian Moynihan et al's plan (announced yesterday) to fire a bunch of senior people and bus teams of junior employees around wherever they're needed to pick up the slack.

From the front lines:

"Word is BofA will merge junior banker resources into several broad "superpods" across the bank. Appears to affect analysts, associates, and some VPs. Also some rumors that the juniors making up the superpods might be co-located. Essentially they just became that much more interchangeable and replaceable and commodified. Politics and turf battles here between groups are pretty bad as it is...this is only going to make it 5000x worse."

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Layoffs Watch '12: Bank Of America

In April 2010, Bank of America said ENOUGH. Enough with this losing of money business. We want to know what it's like to have a quarter in which we actually make a little-- wouldn't that be something? As this was a very lofty goal for the firm, the higher-ups knew they had to get serious-- really focus and hone in an on plan of action. First, they gave their new (money-making) mission a special codename: Project New BAC. Then, 44 executives "fanned out around the company to ask employees low- and high-level for ideas on how BofA [could]...reduce expenses." As we now know, what they came up with re: the reduction of expenses was that 30,000 people should be fired and over the last year, exactly that has happened. And even though a whole bunch of senior people have quit, which has helped the bottom line a bit, it hasn't been enough for meddlesome investors to put a sock in it re: "reining in expenses" and "profit outlook" in general. So, a couple things are going to happen: 1. A whole bunch of well-paid* bankers are going to be escorted out of the building and 2. In order to pick up the slack left, clusters of junior bankers are going to put in a van which will drop them off in whatever division needs them most at the time. The Charlotte, N.C., company is planning about 2,000 staff cuts in its investment banking, commercial banking and non-U.S. wealth-management units, said people familiar with the situation. Those operations were vastly expanded with Bank of America's 2009 purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. The reductions are significant because of whom they target: the high-earning employees whose efforts helped Merrill Lynch account for the bulk of Bank of America's profit since the financial crisis. The cuts come on top of a plan announced last year that will see Bank of America eliminate 30,000 jobs over three years in its consumer banking divisions...The No. 2 U.S. bank by assets already is facing a wave of high-profile defections in its institutional businesses, such as investment banking, amid Wall Street's annual post-bonus job-hopping season. The upheaval comes as investors are pressuring banks to rein in expenses without giving ground competitively. Despite a 46% rise this year, Bank of America shares have lost a third of their value in the past year, amid questions about the industry's profit outlook. Cutbacks aren't Bank of America's only response to surging costs. The bank is loath to cut too deeply in businesses, such as the fixed-income trading operation, that are showing improvement and highly competitive. One structural shift being planned will pool junior investment-banking employees across different industry sectors so the younger bankers can be routed to whatever area is most in demand at that moment, said people familiar with the situation. Proponents say that move will help younger workers gain more experience, while others say it will detract from the bank's service to clients. BofA To Cut From Elite Ranks [WSJ] *For BofA.

Bank Of America Makes Policy On Flashing Your Bare Ass At The Office Clear

Do you anticipate that at some point the future, in a moment of anger, you'll get the urge to unbuckle your belt, drop trou, and display your ass in the direction of your superiors? Do you hope to keep your job afterwards? If so, just a forewarning: Bank of America is not the company for you. Send a resumé to Citigroup or KKR or wherever. According to court documents, Jason Selch's friend Chris O'Dea was fired after he refused to accept lower compensation. This ticked Selch off. Selch burst into a conference room where executives from Columbia were meeting to give them a piece of his mind. He wound up giving them a piece of something else as well. First Selch asked if he had a non-compete agreement, which on Wall Street is usually a way of threatening to quit and go to work for a competitor. After the executives said he didn't have a non-compete, Selch mooned them, told one of the New York-based executives never to return to Chicago, and left the meeting. Extraordinarily, Selch wasn't fired. Instead he was issued a formal warning. Selch’s boss testified that while 99 percent of employees would have been immediately fired, Selch was one of the one percent who could be granted a one free mooning reprieve. The executive actually fought for Selch to keep his job. When Columbia CEO Brian Banks found out about this incident, he insisted that Selch be fired. The behavior was too “egregious” to allow Selch to continue at Columbia. No free mooning at Bank of America, Banks decided—even if you are in the one percent. The firing meant that Selch lost a multi-million contingent bonus package that would have vested if he had remained at the company a few months more. Because he was fired, Bank of America got the keep the money. Selch sued, arguing that firing him after issuing warning was a breach of contract...Last Wednesday, a three-judge appeals panel upheld the trial court, describing the mooning as “insubordinate, disruptive, unruly and abusive.” BofA Right to Fire Broker Who Mooned His Boss: Court [NetNet]

Bank Of America Briefly Considered Unburdening Itself Of The Drunken Mistake That Was Countrywide

And then decided that sticking with the "worst deal in the history of American finance," which has cost it $40 billion in cleanup so far, made them at least look like responsible adults, facing the consequences of their actions, rather than deadbeats trying to take the easy way out. Long before Sanford Weill suggested last week that big banks should split up, Bank of America executives and directors considered the idea and then decided against it, said people close to the nation's second-biggest bank by assets...Chief Executive Brian Moynihan and his team looked at a possible bankruptcy of Countrywide Financial Corp., the troubled mortgage operation it purchased in 2008. Management also studied whether it made sense to break off Merrill Lynch, the securities firm it purchased in 2009. Mr. Moynihan ultimately recommended to his board that neither action made sense. The company decided Merrill had become too big of a profit center and splitting it off could expose the brokerage firm to the sort of funding problems that killed off other Wall Street firms in 2008. Meanwhile, it felt bankruptcy of Countrywide might invite more legal and reputational troubles for Bank of America while exposing other subsidiaries to problems. Bank Breakups, Not So Fast [WSJ]

Layoffs Watch '12: Bank Of America

On the one hand, Brian Moynihan et al plan to cut staff next month, which hurts. On the other, they've been firing off warning signals that employees may want to explore their options elsewhere, so that's nice. "Ahead of expected cuts at the House of Moynihan in the Apr-May timeframe, a lot of juniors are being pulled into conference rooms and told it might be in their interest to "reach out and have a chat" with other groups. Reshuffling and reallocation are well underway. No rhyme or reason as far as we can tell regarding why some analysts and associates are being nudged and others aren't (some top bucketed guys got nudged, and some bottom feeders got nudged as well)."

Here Is A Woman Protesting Bank Of America, Shirts

Earlier today, we were told that Brian Moynihan's speech at the Citi Financial Services was interrupted by several protesters chanting "bust up Bank of America before it busts up America." One did so running down the aisles, one jumped onto the stage and grabbed the mic from Moynihan, and one "jumped on a table in front of the stage and pulled off her top to show the slogan written across her chest," before being escorted out. Some of, as is your wont, requested photos. Here you go.

Bank Of America Hoping To Fire Thousands Of Employees In Record Time

Remember Project New BAC, i.e. Bank of America's plan to transform itself from Ken Lewis's house of fun, where everyone went home happy but the concept of making money was less of a focus than keeping the good times coming, to an institution that did things like post profits? The bank has said previously that PNBAC "will result in $8 billion in annual savings by 2015—$5 billion from the first phase and $3 billion from a second phase" and while it stands by those figures and remains committed to cutting as many employees as it takes, some people would like them to be a bit snappier about it. Bank of America is accelerating a broad cost-cutting plan and has set a target of shedding 16,000 jobs by year's end—cuts that would see the company relinquish its title as U.S. banking's largest employer. The proposed year-end total of 260,000 would be the lowest count since 2008 and likely give Bank of America a smaller workforce than JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, or Wells Fargo...Chief Executive Brian Moynihan is trying to speed the company's transformation into a smaller and more efficient operation as he tries to persuade investors that expenses can be adjusted to compensate for revenue lost to new regulations, an uneven economy and shaky markets. Since becoming CEO in 2010, he has shifted away from a nationwide expansion strategy embraced by his predecessors Hugh L. McColl Jr. and Kenneth D. Lewis, and shed many of the businesses that he considers to be nonessential...Hitting the new staffing target would fulfill a year early Mr. Moynihan's pledge to slash the bank's workforce by approximately 30,000. "If they want to make any headway toward improving profitability," said Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. senior banking analyst Todd Hagerman, "they need to accelerate the timeline." Bank Of America Ramps Up Job Cuts [WSJ]