Two Top Research Figures Leaving B of A

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Canada is reclaiming David Rosenberg. Bank of America's chief North American economist, who held that role at Merrill Lynch for many years, reportedly will depart in May to join a Toronto-based private wealth management firm, Gluskin Sheff & Associates.

Rosenberg is the latest in a parade of high-profile former Merrill Lynch staffers to exit since the Bank of America acquired Merrill on Jan. 1. Another new departure is Richard Bernstein, B of A's chief U.S. quantitative strategist. Bernstein will leave in mid-April to start his own money management firm, according to Bloomberg News, which reported both moves.

It's also noteworthy that each man is moving to the buy side, rather than taking up with another large investment bank. Niche buy-side firms aren't burdened with compensation caps and other limitations being imposed on banks that receive bailout aid from the U.S. or other national governments.

Rosenberg's roots are in Canada. A graduate of the University of Toronto where he received B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics, he worked for the Bank of Canada, BMO Nesbitt Burns and Bank of Nova Scotia before before joining Merrill in 2000. After a period as Merrill Lynch's Canadian chief economist and strategist, he moved to New York in December 2002 as chief economist for North America.

Gluskin Sheff was founded in 1984 and serves private clients with a minimum of $2 million to invest. "Customized investment plans are tailored around portfolios encompassing equity, alternative and fixed income investment strategies," the firm says on its Web site.

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