BofA appoints boss for expanding bespoke equity financing unit

LONDON Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:11am EST

LONDON Feb 15 (Reuters) - Bank of America Merrill Lynch has appointed Sam Losada to a newly created role as head of International Strategic Equity Solutions as it looks to expand the business, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

The unit provides companies and funds with bespoke equity-related financing and hedging services and has become increasingly important for many banks as their ordinary equity capital raising business has slumped due to choppy stock markets and weak economies.

Bankers involved in the sector say the value of such bespoke deals has grown from almost nothing two to three years ago to the equivalent of half some banks' Equity Capital Markets business in terms of revenue.

Losada, who previously headed strategic equity solutions for Europe, Middle East and Africa, will now have a more global role, also incorporating Asia Pacific and Latin America, according to the memo.

"Sam will be responsible for driving the overall growth of our Strategic Equity Solutions business," the memo said, describing the sector as "a tremendous opportunity" for the firm globally.

The more customised nature of the equity solutions deals means banks can often charge more for them than for run-of-the-mill share issues and among the benefits for those seeking funds is the greater certainty over the amount to be raised than is possible when depending on open markets.