Lawyers for Bank of America and former Merrill Lynch & Co brokerage chief Robert McCann have reportedly been in talks to resolve his lawsuit accusing the bank of blocking him from taking a job with a rival, which some experts speculate is UBS.
McCann sued the largest U.S. bank in August in order to lift a “non-competition” clause in various Merrill agreements and thus free him to take a job with a rival. Bank of America is arguing that McCann must stay put through January 2010.
In a court filing, McCann says he gave written notice on January 5 that he would resign and that Bank of America accepted his reason for leaving. But, McCann maintains, the bank rescinded its acceptance the following month, fired him effective January 30, 2009, and won’t let him take a job with a rival until a year after the firing. “I face the likelihood of missing out on what I believe is a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity,” he explains in the court documents.
Bof A says McCann is “intimately familiar” with its long-term strategic plans and that it would lose plenty of business if he went to work for a rival.
In August, Bank of America tapped Sallie Krawcheck, the former CFO and wealth management chief of Citigroup Inc., to run the combined brokerage operations of BofA and Merrill Lynch.