Merrill Investment Banking Chief Leaves Firm

Greg Fleming, co-president of Merrill Lynch and head of its investment banking unit, has offered his resignation to the firm, sources told CNBC, only days after Merrill completed its merger with Bank of America.

The development follows the departure, announced earlier this week, that Merrill's brokerage head, Bob McCann, would leave the company.

The departure of Fleming, like that of McCann, has less to do with any cultural rift with Bank of America than with ongoing tensions with John Thain, Merrill's chief executive and president of Bank of America's global banking.

Thain, a former Goldman Sachs executive, joined Merrill in 2007.

The loss of Fleming, like that of McCann, could be devastating for Merrill, as both men have wide followings within the firm's workforce.

Fleming, who was co-president of Merrill under former Chief Executive Officer Stanley O'Neal and had been for more than 20 years, specialized in giving merger advice to financial institutions. He was the driving force behind the deal with Bank of America , prodding Thain into the merger in September as Merrill shares fell on fears about the firm's exposure to mortgage-related debts and its business model, which depended on heavy borrowing to finance its operations.

Merrill Lynch had no comment. Fleming could not be reached for comment.

Unlike McCann, who was moved down a notch in the new management structure at Bank of America and was to report to a manager below Thain, Fleming was to continue reporting directly to Thain.

  • See Original McCann Story Here: Merrill Brokerage Chief Resigns
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  • Sources told CNBC that Thain had been trying to convince Fleming to remain with Merrill, but Fleming has secured a position at senior resident scholar at Yale University.

    Under a non-compete agreement, Fleming can't work for any Merrill rivals for six months, but he may return to the industry after that time.

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