When my colleague Jyoti Thottam wrote this profile of Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis in January, we used the headline “The Savior of Countrywide?”
Guess we can drop the “Countrywide” and question mark.
Here’s B of A’s rundown about how big and bad it is, now that it’s swallowing Merrill Lynch:
The combined company would have leadership positions in retail brokerage and wealth management. By adding Merrill Lynch’s more than 16,000 financial advisers, Bank of America would have the largest brokerage in the world with more than 20,000 advisers and $2.5 trillion in client assets.
The combination brings global scale in investment management, including an approximately 50 percent ownership in BlackRock, which has $1.4 trillion in assets under management. Bank of America has $589 billion in assets under management.
Adding Merrill Lynch both enhances current strengths at Bank of America and creates new ones, particularly outside of the United States. Merrill Lynch adds strengths in global debt underwriting, global equities and global merger and acquisition advice.
After the acquisition, Bank of America would be the number one underwriter of global high yield debt, the third largest underwriter of global equity and the ninth largest adviser on global mergers and acquisitions based on pro forma first half of 2008 results.
Guess that makes is almost too big to fa… oh, never mind.