BofA/Merrill Economist, Strategist Plan to Leave Firm

Bank of America Securities-Merrill Lynch chief North American economist David Rosenberg and chief stock market strategist Richard Bernstein are leaving the research firm, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Photo: Oliver Quillia for

Both men are described as having been key players in BofA's strategy, with Rosenberg having called the housing slump for the last two years.

Rosenberg will resign May 11, citing family issues of a personal nature. He has relocated to his hometown of Toronto, and plans to return to the financial services industry with a buy-side firm in Toronto.

Bernstein, who has spent more than 20 years as a sell-side strategist, plans to pursue new challenges, including potential opportunities on the buy-side, teaching and perhaps writing a book, according to a message from Candace Browning, president of BAS-ML Global Research.

Bernstein's last day at the firm is April 15.

"While I regret the loss of David and Rich, we are fully committed to bringing the very best talent to these critical roles," Browning said in her statement. "We are already actively pursuing candidates, looking both inside and outside the company."

Rosenberg and Bernstein were highly visible analysts. Rosenberg had been a Merrill Lynch economist for more than eight years and Bernstein had been an investment strategist with the company for more than 20 years.

BofA-Merrill is part of Bank of America .