BofA moves veteran to senior European client job

Bank of America Merrill Lynch named a long-standing capital markets specialist, Rupert Hume-Kendall, as chairman of its corporate and investment banking business in Europe, after a revamp of the division's management.

Hume-Kendall, who in his 15 years at BofA ML has focused primarily on equity capital markets, the part of the investment bank which runs share sales including stock market listings, will be responsible for covering big clients in the region, an internal memo seen by Reuters showed.

He will also oversee the development of "essential new senior relationships" across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the memo said.

Bank of America's investment bank has been hit by departures and undergone a series of reshuffles this year, as it tries - like its rivals - to face up to tough markets that are denting trading revenue and hurting the flow of deals.

In January the bank promoted relative newcomer Christian Meissner to run corporate and investment banking globally. The division is in charge of overseeing advisory activity on merger and acquisition deals and stock and debt underwriting.

It later hired Goldman Sachs banker Diego De Giorgi to run that division in the EMEA region alongside Bob Elfring.

BofA ML also has a new president of Europe and emerging markets (excluding Asia), Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, formerly of UBS .

But star banker Andrea Orcel left BofA ML for UBS in March, while other senior executives in the United States have also jumped ship.

Many investment banks are trying to sharpen their client focus, making sure they are giving the most attention to those that will yield the biggest fees.

BofA ML ranked second by global investment banking fees in the first nine months of 2012, behind JPMorgan , according to Thomson Reuters data. In EMEA, it dropped two ranks to ninth place compared with 2011, the fee data showed.

(Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)