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Industry Sectors - Oil & Gas Exploration & Production: First

BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research captured second-place honors last year in Oil & Gas.

Alejandro Demichelis, Hootan Yazhari & team BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research

The buy side says: “The industry experience of this team is exceptional.”

BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research captured second-place honors last year in Oil & Gas. The sector was split this year into Oil & Gas Exploration & Production and Oil Ser­vices, and new team leaders ­Alejandro Demichelis, 38, and Hootan Yazhari, 34, pilot the seven-strong BofA team to a first-place finish. (Demichelis and Yazhari replace Mark ­Iannotti, who was promoted to head of emerging EMEA research in 2009.) The analysts are “money­makers on midcap U.K. names,” declares one buy-side backer. One example: In January 2010 the analysts reiterated their buy rating on Afren, first recommended back in May 2009, citing new oil discoveries in West Africa. Shares of the British exploration company gushed from 103.50p at the time of the upgrade to 147.60p by the end of the year, a gain of 42.6 percent that outperformed the sector by 49.6 percentage points. Demichelis, who joined the firm in 2005 from consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, earned an MBA at the University of Edinburgh in 2001. Yazhari is a 1997 graduate of the University of Bristol with a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting; he joined ­Merrill Lynch in 2003 from management consulting firm Arthur D. Little.

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