Banking

Bank of America shuffles management team as 2 execs depart

Bank of America’s chief financial officer and head of wealth management are stepping down, spurring a reorganization among the Charlotte bank’s top exectives, CEO Brian Moynihan announced Wednesday.
Bank of America’s chief financial officer and head of wealth management are stepping down, spurring a reorganization among the Charlotte bank’s top exectives, CEO Brian Moynihan announced Wednesday. AP

Bank of America’s chief financial officer and head of wealth management are leaving, spurring a reorganization among the Charlotte bank’s top executives.

The shuffle at the No. 2 U.S. bank by assets will also shift responsibility for the capital plan that the bank submits annually to the Federal Reserve. The bank is currently working on resubmitting this year’s plan after the Fed found deficiencies in its capital-planning process.

Bruce Thompson, who has served more than five years as chief risk officer and then CFO, will be replaced by Paul Donofrio, effective Aug. 1, as the bank’s top number-cruncher, according to a company memo Wednesday evening. Donofrio has held corporate and investment banking and finance roles at the bank.

Thompson, 51, brought stability to a role that had long been a source of turnover at the company and his accomplishments included bolstering Bank of America’s once tenuous balance sheet. But his tenure also included the bank’s struggles to pass the Fed’s yearly “stress tests.” His departure had not been expected.

He is stepping down to pursue other business opportunities that will be outside the bank, a person familiar with the matter said. Prior to becoming CFO, he was a top investment banking and capital markets executive at the bank.

In the other departure, bank veteran David Darnell is retiring as head of global wealth and investment management by year’s end. Last year, Darnell, 62, signaled he was nearing retirement when he gave up the co-chief operating officer role he took on in 2011 and moved to Tampa, Fla., from Charlotte.

His tenure dates back to the days when an upstart institution known as North Carolina National Bank was only beginning an acquisition binge that would create a national behemoth. He criss-crossed the country for the bank over the years, taking on various executive roles.

“As CFO, Bruce has put our company on a strong, stable financial foundation, with record levels of capital and liquidity,” CEO Brian Moynihan said in a statement. “David is mentor and friend to me, our management team, and so many leaders of our company, past and present.”

Darnell will be replaced by Terry Laughlin, who will continue to head up the bank’s efforts to resubmit its capital plan by Sept. 30. For next year’s submission, he will work with Andrea Smith, the bank’s human resources executive who takes on the task in her new role as chief administrative officer.

The resubmission is particularly critical because Bank of America has stumbled in three of its past five exams. If Bank of America does not satisfactorily address the issues identified by the Fed, the regulator has said it “would expect to object” to the capital plan and may restrict stock buybacks.

In her new role, Smith will also be responsible for corporate strategy, the bank’s market presidents, community engagement, the troubled mortgage loans unit, corporate security and corporate jets.

In other changes, strategy executive Anne Finucane and general counsel Gary Lynch add vice chairman titles, and Cathy Bessant’s title changes to chief operations and technology officer. Sheri Bronstein will replace Smith as human resources executive.

The shuffling announced Wednesday elevates two female executives based in Charlotte, Smith and Bessant. But it also shifts some power to New York, where Donofrio and Bronstein are based. Thompson has been stationed in Charlotte.

The movement comes after the bank reported better-than-expected earnings last week, helped by lower expenses and one-time gains. Moynihan, however, remains under pressure to improve revenue and keep a lid on costs, at a time when low interest rates are crimping lending profits.

The reorganization sheds little light on any possible succession plans for Moynihan, who at 55 is not expected to leave the company any time soon. Tom Montag, 58, remains chief operating officer after the shuffle; Donofrio is 55 and Smith is 48.

The bank’s shares fell 3 cents to $18.42 in after-hours trading. The stock is trading around a 52-week high.

Rick Rothacker: 704-358-5170, @rickrothacker

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