Banking

Bank of America adds director with activist investor tie

Bank of America said Thursday it has added a new director to its board who comes with CEO experience and ties to an activist investor.
Bank of America said Thursday it has added a new director to its board who comes with CEO experience and ties to an activist investor. AP

Bank of America on Thursday added a new director to its board who comes with CEO experience and ties to an activist investor.

Michael White, 64, is the recently retired CEO of DirecTV, departing after AT&T’s purchase last year of the satellite television provider. White is also an advisory partner at Trian Fund Management, an activist investor known for pushing for change at public companies, including the former Matthews-based Family Dollar Stores.

A recent quarterly securities filing by Trian, however, does not show a stake in Charlotte-based Bank of America.

White, who has also held executive posts at soda maker PepsiCo and personal care company Avon Products, joins the board immediately, giving the nation’s No. 2 bank by deposits 14 directors.

Trian announced in January that White had become its fourth advisory partner, joining a group that helps the firm identify potential investments, formulate strategy and engage with management teams at public companies. Other advisory board members sit on boards of companies such as PepsiCo, fast-food chain Wendy’s and investment firm Legg Mason.

Trian has a stake in Wendy’s, but has recently exited stakes in PepsiCo and Legg Mason, according to securities filings and news reports.

White also serves as a director at two other big companies, appliance maker Whirlpool and diaper maker Kimberly-Clark. Trian does not have stakes in those companies.

“Mike’s expertise leading consumer and technology businesses, working in regulated industries, his finance background, and his international perspective make him a great fit to help oversee the management team and the responsible growth approach to creating value for shareholders,” Bank of America Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan said in a statement.

Bank of America lead director Jack Bovender said White will add to “an already deep board.”

In 2011, Trian offered as much as $7.6 billion to buy discount chain Family Dollar before eventually settling for a board seat. The firm owned an 8.3 percent stake in the retailer at the time. Dollar Tree bought Family Dollar last year for about $9 billion.

Rick Rothacker: 704-358-5170, @rickrothacker

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