Bank of America Chooses Between Frankfurt and Paris for a New European Trade Hub
Bank of America investment bank managers are not unanimous about where the trade hub in Europe should be after Britain leaves the EU, according to Bloomberg, citing its anonymous sources.
Fabrizio Gallo, director of the stock market unit, is pushing for a move to Frankfurt, and his colleagues who run the fixed income business, Sanaz Zaimi and Bernard Mensa, prefer Paris. Some of the trade operations will have to be exported outside London after the United Kingdom leaves the EU in March 2019.
Bank of America has not yet publicly discussed any of the two cities as a European center. Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said in July that the preferred location for the core units is Dublin. The bank already has a license in Ireland, and the concept presented by Moynihan also includes the creation of an investment intermediary in Dublin.
The public plan of the bank does not exclude a separate trading hub, and the structures that are still being discussed internally are even more complex, say Bloomberg sources.
Sannay Zaimi told Bloomberg that the agency's information about the debates was "wrong." Bank spokeswoman Jessica Oppenheim has declined to comment. Fabrizio Gallo and Bernard Mensa did not respond to requests for comment.
48-year-old Zaimi manages sales of fixed-income assets in London, where Mensa is the co-chair of the bond trading unit. 51-year-old Italian Gallo was based in London, but two years ago he moved to New York.
According to Bloomberg sources, it is suggested that the stock market unit be in Frankfurt, while bond trading - in Paris. Another option is that all trading is in Frankfurt, and sales of fixed income assets - in Paris under Zaimi.
Frankfurt's favor is the established hub status, as most international banks, including Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, chose the German city for their European headquarters after Brexit. In addition, Frankfurt offers lower living costs than Paris.
The French capital, however, is a more cosmopolitan city, and the authorities are making efforts to make the country more attractive to bankers. Last month, Prime Minister Edouard Philip announced new initiatives to ease income taxes for the wealthiest.
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