Bank of America has pulled all of its credit research save international strategy back to New York and Charlotte, N.C. Peter Plaut, head of European credit research, is the last senior analyst to leave London, and now heads up global financial institutions research in New York. Plaut is looking to add two research analysts to his team in the coming year, bringing the U.S. team to five.
"Investors are looking at industries on a global basis, so BofA has moved to a model of global research coverage, rather than covering industries on a regional basis," said Plaut. "From a competitive point of view, our strength is in the U.S., so we are consolidating our global research there," he noted, stressing that BofA has recently added to its investment banking, debt capital markets and sales teams in London and is not retrenching from Europe.
Strategy research will maintain a presence in Europe and Asia to help with the roll-out of BofA's quantitative analysis products, he said.
Plaut added that since the financial institutions sector is already well-covered, BofA is looking to add value by offering analysis that compares companies in different geographies, for example weighing J.P. Morgan against Royal Bank of Scotland. Such analysis looks across the capital structure, from senior debt to hybrid capital securities; and provides insight into regulatory developments in the U.S. and Europe.