Alison Falls, director of research and chief credit strategist for Banc of America Securities, has retired after 22 years at the firm. She did not return calls left at her home in Ohio. Falls reported jointly to Tom White, global head of high-yield trading, sales, and research in New York, and Jim Kelligrew, head of global high-grade fixed income in Charlotte, N.C. White says the firm will be naming her replacement within a few days. He would not comment on whether the firm was considering someone from outside, but said "we have several very talented people internally who we are considering for her role." In the interim, Michael Johnson, a principal, has taken over Falls' investment-grade strategy responsibilities. Ali Balali, also a principal, has been leading high-yield strategy and overseeing the Banc of America Large Cap high-yield index that Falls developed. Johnson and Balali are believed to be candidates to replace Falls, possibly as co-heads. They referred questions regarding their present and possible future roles to Kelligrew and White.
White says the commute between Cleveland, where Falls' husband lives, and the firm's New York and Charlotte offices had become too much of a burden. He stresses that there is absolutely nothing controversial about her retirement. "She's 55 years old...She did a great job, built a terrific index and got our strategy product on the map." A call to Kelligrew was not returned.