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It's a big day for aspiring MDs at Bank of America Merrill Lynch

After Goldman Sachs' partner promotions, it's the turn of other U.S. banks in London to nominate people for their top positions. No other bank has partner managing directors like GS, but they all have managing directors. Today, and in the days to come, Bank of America Merrill Lynch BAML people are finding out who's been tapped.

We don't have a list of names yet - it's not out until next week - and most people at BAML are still in the dark on who's been promoted. But those who've received the call know who they are. One man on the list is understood to be Ian Pellicina, a "great guy" who's worked in Scandinavian credit sales for BAML since 2010, and who was a high yield trader for the bank for three years before that. Another is Tristan Lacroix, a tech investment banker who's been there since 2008.

Needless to say, the big question this year will be what happens to promotions in Bank of America's corporate finance division. Revenues from M&A advisory fees were down 34% year on year in the first nine months of 2018 and headhunters estimate that the bank lost 28 managing directors from its investment bank in 2017 and the first half of 2018 combined. However, a spokesperson for the bank told the Wall Street Journal last month that it had already hired 49 new MDs to replace them, and the bank reportedly has plans to hire another 50 MDs in future. 

Where does all this external hiring leave the BAML investment banking directors who've spent years climbing the greasy pole internally? Surprisingly optimistic is the answer. Those we spoke in London thought they were going to get promoted despite this year's dismal results and despite the focus on injecting new talent at the top. "Seven plus people are going to be promoted in European investment banking this year," says one insider. "It's a very strong class, a lot of these people are very high quality and have been at Merrill throughout their careers."

Watch out for Citi and Barclays, whose MD promotions happen around now too.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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