Bank of America Merrill Lynch has named the bankers who will lead its European business outside of the UK after Brexit, as banks press ahead with contingency planning amid a lack of clarity from Westminster.
The US bank last month picked the Irish capital Dublin as its base for certain European investment banking operations once the UK has officially left the bloc in March 2019.
In a memo to staff, Tom Montag, who runs BAML’s global banking and markets business, said vice chairman Bruce Thompson will relocate to Dublin in the coming months to become chief executive of its future banking operations in the EU.
BAML has also named vice chairman Anne Finucane, who leads its environmental, social and governance efforts, as chair of its new European bank board.
Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, the City investment banker who serves as BAML’s president in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will become chair of a new European broker-dealer that will also be based in Ireland.
Both Finucane and Wilmot-Sitwell will retain the current responsibilities.
The UK is in the process of negotiating the terms of its exit from the EU with policymakers in Brussels. Last week, at a much-anticipated speech in Florence, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed plans for a two-year transition period to help businesses settle after the country’s official exit.
But senior executives at banks are still unhappy with the lack of detail from politicians on how negotiations are progressing, which they say is making it hard for them to plan for life after Brexit.
In August, City executives told Financial News that they were speeding up their relocation plans in anticipation of a so-called hard Brexit. These warnings were reiterated last week after May’s speech failed to provide the kind of updates many had been hoping for.
Bank of America has operated in Dublin for almost 50 years and employs more than 700 staff there, making it the group’s second-largest Emea base outside the UK.