Bank of America made sweeping changes to its leadership on Friday, elevating several executives, including three women, to senior positions and all but ensuring that CEO Brian Moynihan would remain at the helm of the nation’s second-largest bank for years to come.
Alastair Borthwick, the company’s current head of commercial banking in New York, was promoted to chief financial officer. It also gave Dean Athanasia, who runs the consumer banking division from Boston, more responsibilities. Lauren Mogensen was promoted to the position of general counsel.
Mr. Moynihan is 61 years old, and the race to succeed him is expected to be arduous. Senior executives being groomed for top jobs typically require several years of experience overseeing all aspects of a company before being deemed eligible to take the helm.
Mr. Moynihan indicated his intention to stay: In a letter to employees, he stated that the new leaders will assist him in leading the bank through its second decade, with him and all of you, in accordance with a growth strategy he implemented in 2010 when he was appointed CEO.
Mike Mayo, a Wells Fargo banking analyst, said the changes were welcome, but given Mr. Moynihan’s plans, “this might go down as one of the longest bake-offs to be a C.E.O.” Mr. Mayo acknowledged that the “number of chefs in the kitchen at the top” could cause problems, but he also stated that it was “an opportunity to see the ability of the top executives to play well with others.”
Succession at Wall Street’s largest banks is being closely monitored as a generation of chief executives approaches retirement age, some of whom have been in their positions since before or shortly after the 2008 financial crisis. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is 65 years old and has been in the position since 2005. JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley have promoted younger executives, raising the spectre of succession. This year, Jane Fraser succeeded Michael Corbat as CEO of Citigroup, making her the first woman to lead an American megabank.
Bank of America’s reorganisation comes after key executives who helped steer the company out of the financial crisis decided to retire or move on to jobs that were less focused on day-to-day operations. Anne Finucane, the bank’s vice chair and one of the most powerful women on Wall Street, and Thomas K. Montag, the bank’s hard-charging chief operating officer, are among those who will step down.
Bank of America, based in Charlotte, N.C., was chastised for its role in the mortgage meltdown and paid the most in fines in the decade following the crash, $76.1 billion, the most among the nation’s largest banks. Mr. Moynihan took over in 2010, restoring profits and spearheading efforts to rebuild the company’s reputation. Bank of America’s stock has increased by 165 percent during his nearly 12-year tenure. Mr. Moynihan once joked at a university event that his critics who predicted he wouldn’t last as CEO should have bought a lot of the company’s stock.
Mr. Mayo admitted to being one of the sceptics. “I thought Brian Moynihan should be fired as CEO a little less than a decade ago, but now I think he’s one of the best,” he said.
Some of the changes were implemented immediately, while others will be implemented later this year. D. Steve Boland, based in Charlotte, was promoted to chief administrative officer, and Aditya Bhasin was named chief technology and information officer, among other changes. Mr. Athanasia will report to Wendy Stewart, who was chosen to lead commercial banking, and Holly O’Neill, who will lead retail banking. The heads of investment banking, trading, and wealth management will remain in their positions.