The Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s third quarter results show mixed fortunes.
M&A advisory fees were down 30% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2012 despite new MD hires in the space. This compares to a mere 3% decline at Goldman Sachs and a 4% decline at Citigroup over the same period. The only similar M&A revenue fall is at JP Morgan where revenue fell 26% over the past nine months but isn’t comparable to Bank of America Merrill Lynch as they haven’t ramped up their M&A cost base.
The same misfortune cannot be said of its fixed income bankers. In the third quarter, excluding DVA changes, they achieved a monumental 359% increase in revenues – far outweighing the performance of any rivals. So far this year, FICC revenues at the bank are up 20% ex-DVA. Fixed income salespeople and traders may rank ahead of M&A bankers when it comes to payday.