Bloomberg News

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Hires Gush as South Africa CEO

February 24, 2012

(Updates with company comment in fourth paragraph.)

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. lender by assets, hired Standard Bank Group Ltd.’s Richard Gush to run its Merrill Lynch investment-banking business in South Africa.

Gush, who was head of corporate and investment banking in Africa for Johannesburg-based Standard Bank, will start work in April, according to a an e-mailed statement today from Andrea Orcel, executive chairman of global banking and markets at Bank of America. Gush will also join the lender’s executive committee for emerging markets excluding Asia.

Bank of America has trailed both domestic players such as Standard Bank and global rivals like Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG in competition for the biggest South African deals. In the past decade Merrill has not led in South African mergers and acquisitions, debt issuance or equity issuance, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.

Gush will “work with the country and regional heads of all lines of business to ensure the bank delivers the full platform to our clients,” Orcel said in the statement.

In the past 12 months, Standard Bank led local mergers with 18 percent of the market and 20.1 billion rand ($2.6 billion) in deals. Bank of America Merrill Lynch was number 19, with 1.7 billion rand in deals.

Marcus Heilner, who has been the head of Merrill Lynch in South Africa since 2006, will be staying with the company and declined to comment further today. Calls to Gush’s mobile were not answered.

Gush’s departure after 17 years with the nation’s largest lender follows that of Rob Leith, Standard Bank’s head of strategic expansion, who left for Russia’s Troika Dialog Group Ltd. in November.

--Editors: Keith Campbell, Francis Harris.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Evans at

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