Josh Brown, over at his blog Reformed Broker, has written an eloquent and to-the-point account of why Sallie Krawcheck had to leave: Making the bank/brokerage marriage work was an impossible job for anyone; basically, the model is broken and everyone knows it.
"Sallie couldn't change the fact that the jig is up, and everyone knows that Merrill Lynch's fiduciary responsibility is to the shareholders of Bank of America first and the clients second.
Sallie couldn't change the fact that once the brand name is tarnished, there is little reason for the salesforce to stay.
Sallie couldn't change the fact that when retail brokers lose out on all the best banking deals to the firm's hedge fund clients, there is little reason for the salesforce to stay.
Sallie couldn't change the fact that with no IPOs and no solid reputation, there is nothing to justify working at Merrill for an industry-worst payout and that the only thing keeping talent there had become contract bondage and inertia.
Sallie couldn't change the fact that the best of the best were not waiting for BofA to spin off Merrill, they were content to spin themselves off into their own RIA firms or undergo the prisoner exchange process to join Morgan or UBS.
Of course, she was having some success if success can be measured in net recruits and profits. But Brown says the whole thing is hanging on by a thread. Read the full column here.