Bank of America announced the hiring of nine senior analysts on Monday for its Equity Research platform. The analysts cover a diverse set sectors including: restaurants, medical devices, information technology, specialty finance, metals & mining, healthcare, media, managed care, and applications software. The analysts have been hired from a variety of firms, including three from Bear Stearns, two from Lehman brothers, and one each from Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse. The hirings come on the heels of the appointment of Michael Rietbrock as the head of Equity Research. Joseph Buckley and Robert Hopkins, two of the new hires, have both been ranked by Institutional Investor as the #1 or #2 analyst in their respective fields for the past few years.
Hiring new analysts at a time when most financial institutions are laying off employees seems to cut against the grain. On June 26th of this year, Bank of America announced its plans to cut 7,500 jobs across the country as part of its acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp and other examples of layoffs abound at other banks across the country. However, with these nine analysts, yesterday’s 22.4% surge in stock price for Bank of America and their inclusion as the sole commercial bank holding company in the SEC’s emergency measure against short selling on Tuesday it seems as though the Bank is having a good week.
Yet, despite these additions, Bank of America has been known to have a stop and start relationship with equity research in the past. It makes sense to be a buyer of analysts in the current market, but the question remains as to whether management will follow through on their commitment to research this time around.
The original article on the hirings can be found here.