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Bank of America's push to turn around investment bank is bearing fruit

By Imani Moise
FILE PHOTO: A Bank Of America sign is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York

By Imani Moise

(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp <BAC.N> said on Monday its deal-making unit is gaining momentum with midsized companies as it focuses on the sector to regain market share.

Revenue from the middle market grew by 17% in the first seven months of the year. For the third quarter the bank estimated overall investment banking revenue to be up in the low single digits.

Bank of America, the second largest U.S. bank by assets, is focusing more on middle market clients and private companies following a turbulent year marked by falling revenue and market share and after a string of departures by senior leaders.

Investment banking income tumbled 11% last year.

"We had fallen too far," Chief Operating Officer Tom Montag told analysts and investors at the Barclays Financial Services Conference. Taking advantage of the bank's broad network to reach more clients can help close the gap, he said.

The bank is also working with a longer list of private equity firms, hedge funds and other financial sponsors.

"We were more focused on the top 100," he said at the Barclays Financial Services Conference. "We're now going 400-deep."

The number of merger and acquisition referrals coming from its wealth business has surged 67% so far this year as the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank is increasingly relying on that division to drum up business, he added.


(Reporting by Imani Moise; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)