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Bank of America just handed a big promotion to one of the most senior women on Wall Street

Matt Turner
AJ Murphy Bank of America
AJ Murphy Bank of America

(Bank of America)
Leveraged-finance specialist A.J. Murphy.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has named a new head of global capital markets, appointing leveraged-finance specialist A.J. Murphy to the role, according to a memo seen by Business Insider.

She is replacing Jim Probert, who was appointed to that role in 2014 and is retiring, according to the memo sent by Christian Meissner, head of global corporate and investment banking.

"During his tenure, he has led a number of transformative deals and has helped build our Global Capital Markets franchise into a world leading platform," Meissner said in the memo.

Sarang Gadkari and Kevin Sherlock will become coheads of global leveraged finance, reporting to Murphy.

A spokesman for Bank of America confirmed the contents of the memo.

Murphy will oversee equity- and debt-capital markets at the bank. Bank of America finished 2015 with $1.4 billion in debt-capital-markets revenues, and $985 million in equity-capital-markets revenues, according to Dealogic.

Murphy's promotion comes a year after her return to Bank of America. She left the US bank in 2014 to join Goldman Sachs as a partner, only to rejoin a year later as cohead of global leveraged finance.

Her departure to Goldman was controversial as Bank of America reportedly denied her paid gardening leave. Banks typically give top staff three to six months of paid leave when they leave for a rival, the idea being that this reduces the chance of the banker or trader taking knowledge of deals or trading positions to their new firm.

The appointment of Murphy follows the news that Bruce Thompson, a former CFO at Bank of America, will stay on at the firm. Thompson stepped down from the CFO role last year but decided to stay on as vice chairman. He also oversees global acquisition finance and capital commitments.

Wall Street banks have been having a tough time of it of late. Citigroup and JPMorgan have forecast a 25% drop in first-quarter investment-banking revenues. Many banks have responded by cutting jobs.

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