Andrea Orcel, the £30m-a-year head of investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is set to play a reduced role in the running of the business in the wake of the retirement of Matthew Greenburgh, head of the firm's financial institutions group and the man dubbed Sir Fred Goodwin's banker.
As first reported by The Independent, Mr Greenburgh, responsible for the £50bn acquisition of ABN Amro by RBS, quit the group on Friday to begin studying for a PhD.
He leaves behind an investment banking unit in disarray, and it is believed that senior officials have already contacted bankers who quit the group within the past few years in an effort to lure them back.
"Now Matthew has gone, perhaps some of those who left may return," said a source close to the situation.
Mr Greenburgh's exit and the reduced role of Mr Orcel comes just weeks after the group was hit by the departure of Amir Hoveyda, head of Merrill's debt capital markets division in Europe. The bank has made no comment.