JPMorgan Hires Ex-Merrill Exec as M&A Vice Chair

NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) has hired William Rifkin, former chairman of global mergers and acquisitions at Merrill Lynch, as vice chairman of M&A, the bank said on Thursday.

Rifkin will start work at JPMorgan in September reporting to Jimmy Elliott, global head of mergers and acquisitions, the bank said in a statement.

A 30-year veteran of mergers and acquisitions, Rifkin has worked on deals including Freeport-McMoRan’s acquisition of Phelps Dodge and Cinergy’s merger with Duke Energy, according to the bank’s statement.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) acquired Merrill Lynch on Jan. 1, and since then a wave of executives, including chief executive John Thain and president Greg Fleming, have left the former brokerage and investment bank.

JPMorgan on Wednesday returned $25 billion in taxpayer funds to the U.S. government, extricating itself from restrictions on pay for top executives that were tied to the bank bailout funds.

Bank of America, which has received $45 billion in two rounds of government cash injections, has said it hopes to start repaying this money later this year.

A spokeswoman for Bank of America had no immediate comment.

(Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Richard Chang, Bernard Orr)