The departure of Sallie Krawcheck was only the tip of the iceberg for 30,000 job cuts at Bank of America, but Merrill Lynch has remained fairly aloof from the news.
It will be business as usual for the brokerage firm, BofA spokespeople say.
In fact, Merrill is still hiring high-end advisors and cementing client relationships under its own established brand.
The question is what the deeply troubled parent company will do with its extremely profitable brokerage subsidiary now that Krawcheck -- the brokers' advocate in top-level meetings -- is gone.
While it appears unlikely that BofA will spin out the golden goose, the possibility always exists that management will unintentionally alienate top producers, alienate clients with obnoxious cross-selling mandates, or both.
Either way, bankers who are now seeing their departments punished for failure are less likely to be eager to want to work closely with their brokerage counterparts who have been shielded from the layoffs.
t's just human nature. They can be rational again down the road, but right now the pain left by 30,000 job cuts will take awhile to heal. And in the meantime, real cooperation will be harder and the urge to squeeze the privileged brokerage unit will be stronger.