Bob McCann, former leader of Merrill Lynch’s wealth management advisors, has filed a lawsuit against Bank of America - now the owner of Merrill - over the terms of his departure so that he can take a “once in a lifetime” job somewhere else, the Financial Times reported.
The suit does not identify Mr McCann’s future employer, although it has been reported that Mr McCann is the leading candidate to take over wealth management operations in the Americas for UBS.
Mr McCann claims that he left his position at Merrill Lynch for “good reason” in early January, entitling him to join a competing company after six months of paid leave.
In his suit, Mr McCann alleges that BoA’s position is that he was terminated in late January and should have to wait one year before taking a job at a competing company. He further claims that BoA has stopped paying him.
Bank of America declined to comment.
The issue of when a wealth management executive can take up a new job after leaving a previous post continues to be a vexed issue. Last year, the mass departure by UBS relationship managers for a new UK start-up, Vestra Wealth, triggered a legal tussle over the terms of when people can start a new job and prospect for clients.
Earlier in August, BoA - now the world’s biggest wealth manager by assets - named Sallie Krawcheck as head of global investment and wealth management, a position that includes Mr McCann’s former responsibilities at Merrill. Ms Krawcheck had been head of Citigroup Smith Barney until September 2008.