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Merrill names JP Morgan's Howard Canadian head Add to ...

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has hired one of the country's top investment banking executives as its new Canadian head, bringing on Adam Howard from JP Morgan.

Mr. Howard ran JP Morgan for the past 12 years in Canada, and during that time the firm has had a number of high profile mandates.

During his time at JP Morgan, sigificant mandates for the firm included advising Telus Corp. when BCE Inc. was in play, advising Alcan Inc. on its sale to Rio Tinto, and now rumoured to be working with Royal Bank of Canada as it decides what to do with its U.S. retail banking operations.

The biggest and most time consuming of all was the firm's role advising on the successful restructuring of the asset-backed commercial paper market.

In an internal announcement, Merrill's president for Canada and Europe, Jonathan Moulds, said Mr. Howard will be tasked with capitalizing on the "significant opportunities" that the firm sees in Canada.

The job opened up at Merrill after Lynn Patterson, the previous country head, announced her plans to retire.

Merrill has a bigger platform in Canada than JP Morgan, with a fuller sales, trading and distribution arm. And it also, thanks to its sale to Bank of America, now has the key to doing big business in Canada: The ability to lend.

If Mr. Howard can use his experience at JP Morgan, which had lending capability, to transform Merrill into a powerhouse in banking by wielding its balance sheet, there's a big opportunity.

Mr. Howard spent most of his career with JP Morgan and in Canada. However, he has sigificant overseas experience, having worked in the U.S., Europe and Asia, where he was president of JP Morgan Securities Asia.

In his new role, he will report to Mr. Moulds.

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