Bank of America salespeople assigned to the world’s biggest stock portfolio managers were given new orders by their boss in September: attend at least 30 meetings a month with clients - or else.
That works out to 1.5 gatherings each business day, which riled the staff and spurred some to exaggerate their meeting logs to avoid missing goals ahead of bonus season, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter. They asked for anonymity because the new policy isn’t public.
Bloomberg reports that the mandate from Soofian Zuberi, the Merrill Lynch veteran promoted to head of global equities distribution in May, shows the pressure Wall Street firms are under to take a bigger slice from the shrinking pie of trading fees. Some workers regard Zuberi’s targets as unreasonably high, the people said.
'What he’s doing is pointing out that personal relationships bring in revenue', said Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. 'He’s set a bar that is probably a little too high; this is saying you’re having client lunches five days a week and dinner about three days a week. Still, that has value, it forces sales guys to get out there'.
Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, 53, has called Bank of America’s trading units critical to reviving profit at the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender. The firm had $3.7 billion in equities trading revenue last year - about 4% of total net revenue.
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