BSkyB, the FTSE 100 satellite television broadcaster, has axed Bank of America Merrill Lynch as its key adviser in the latest blow to the bank's broking division. Merrill has the second biggest franchise of FTSE 100 clients in broking but has suffered a string of high-profile staff departures.
A broker essentially acts as a conduit between a company and its investors in the hope of more lucrative work in the future such as mergers and acquisitions. Former co-head of broking Mark Astaire was one of those who left, joining Barclays Capital, which has now taken over the bank's role at BSkyB. Merrill also lost Tullow Oil as a client following the departure of Andrew Osborne, who quit the bank following market abuse allegations.
BSkyB is considered a juicy mandate for a broker due to its media profile. For example, the broadcaster has received swathes of coverage ahead of tonight's first episode of the racy French drama Maison Close.