Until April this year, Bob Hillier was a managing director and head of fixed income currencies and commodities technology at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York. As of this month, he's moved to Houston and is heading up a home renovation firm helping people repair their houses after storm damage.
As career paths go for people working in investment banking sector, it's definitely an unusual one. Hillier was, after all, in charge of a technology function at BAML and had worked across various asset classes at top banks including J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch and UBS. There's no shortage of senior traders and advisory bankers quitting the industry to end up in fintech start-ups, so it's slightly unusual that a senior banking technologist should opt to leave the sector altogether.
Hillier has just started Paul Davis Restoration in North Houston. The firm says it helps people "help people recover from water, fire, mold or other storm related damage". Hillier is the owner.
Hillier joined BAML in January 2009 as CTO for the commodities business but moved across to head FICC technology in April 2012. Before this, he held the same role at Merrill Lynch and joined this bank from a managing director role at J.P. Morgan in Houston, where he spent four years. Hillier's other ties to Houston come from his four-year stint as executive director at Enron from 1997-2001.
Hillier is the latest in a line of senior technologists to leave Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the U.S. As we reported in August, Glenn Gribble, a managing director and head of developer architecture, who also joined the bank in 2010 from Goldman Sachs, where he was a technology fellow, departed in April. Meanwhile, Jason Petrone, another technology managing director responsible for building the Quartz risk platform. Meanwhile, Michael Naunton, a managing director in New York and head of its GMT Quartz core team who joined in 2010.
Bank of America is in the process of cutting $5bn in costs from across the bank during 2016.