Analysts Laid Off From Merrill, B of A

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Some equity analysts at Merrill Lynch and its new parent Bank of America reportedly were laid off Thursday as the firms begin combining their research departments.

The victims lost out to counterparts performing similar roles within one or the other merging company, according to The Wall Street Journal. "The goal....is to integrate the two research teams and decide who the senior analysts will be," the Journal says, citing unnamed sources in both companies. It adds that these particular layoffs "aren't a result of cost cutting but are an effort to end duplicate coverage and not confuse clients."

No layoff numbers were reported. Merrill has around 109 equity analysts, Bank of America about 47.

Bank of America hasn't announced a company-wide figure for merger-related layoffs either. Merrill Chief Executive John Thain said in October that "thousands" will be let go. Thain is slated to head B of A's global banking, securities and wealth management businesses.

Shareholders of both institutions approved the $16.5 billion deal last week. It's expected to be completed by Dec. 31.

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