Komansky: Shocked Merrill Was Sold

Maria Bartiromo spoke exclusively to one of the most powerful persons on Wall Street, Former CEO of Merrill Lynch David Komansky.

Komansky founded

Fieldpoint Private Bank & Trust

more than two years ago with several of his old colleagues from Merrill Lynch. He’s hoping to grow the firm in the next few years.

Investor Sentiment

As for investor sentiment, Komansky said it’s “quite apparent people are very risk adverse.”

High velocity traders driving the volume in equity markets. That adds to concern of investors because they “can’t play that game.” “This volatility is created by velocity traders,” said Komansky.


Komansky said, “You have to go back to beginning of the crisis when the government was pumping different programs. There was no formula to help the economy. Some worked, others didn’t. At some point we stopped worrying about [little issues]. More about how to we fix the “too big to fail” syndrome. [They think] the answer is in FinReg. Should be thinking about enforcing regulation we already have.

Ticking Time Bombs: Freddie & Fannie

Komansky said, “Freddie and Fannie are ticking time bombs that no one talks or thinks about.” Personally feel we have seen the worst. [We are entering a] bottoming out process now. Komansky expects the financial crisis to take “3-5 years to correct.”

Shocked Merrill Was Sold

The former Merrill CEO was really shocked Merrill Lynch was sold.

Komansky said, “I was shocked the amount of money they lost. I was heartbroken something we devoted most of our adult life to disappear. “

Field Point Bank: 3–5 Years Out

As for looking 3–5 years out, Komansky expects the firm to be bigger but not “enormously bigger.” Komansky wants to be nimble so the firm can be “responsive to client needs.” Komansky said he is “not interested in massive operation that we can turn around in marketplace.”

Mixing It Up

Komansky would like to see the mix change a little at Field Point, to have a even more balanced portfolio.

1) Wealth management platform to lead the growth
2) Build a trust business
3) Invest outside U.S., more active in other geographic areas

Crystal Lau contributed the article.



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