Bank Watch

NC Retirement Systems votes against BofA directors to protest chairman move

The North Carolina Retirement Systems joins other Bank of America shareholders who are voting against the bank’s board members over the lender’s controversial recombination of its chairman and CEO roles.
The North Carolina Retirement Systems joins other Bank of America shareholders who are voting against the bank’s board members over the lender’s controversial recombination of its chairman and CEO roles. AFP/Getty Images

The North Carolina Retirement Systems has joined the ranks of other Bank of America shareholders voting against the bank’s board members over the lender’s controversial recombination of its chairman and CEO roles.

The state pension fund, which reports holding 11.4 million shares of Bank of America, said Tuesday it has voted against the four directors who sit on the Charlotte bank’s corporate governance committee. Those four directors and nine others will be up for re-election at the bank’s annual meeting, which will be held Wednesday in SouthPark.

The pension fund’s decision comes after Bank of America in October handed the chairman title to CEO Brian Moynihan without seeking shareholder approval first.

In naming Moynihan chairman, the bank undid a change it made to its bylaws six years ago. The bylaw change came after shareholders in 2009 voted in support of a binding resolution requiring the bank’s chairman to be independent.

The bank’s recombination of the roles upset some shareholders who believe they should have been given a vote on the matter.

The North Carolina Retirement Systems, in an email to the Observer, said it voted against the four directors because of the bank’s “decision to override shareholders’ 2009 vote.”

In response to upset investors, Bank of America on Monday said it will allow shareholders to vote to ratify the recombination after all. The bank said the vote will take place no later than its 2016 annual meeting, but it has not given an exact date.

Some other Bank of America shareholders have also said they are voting against re-electing the bank’s directors over the recombination issue. Last month, Jonathan Finger, partner with Houston-based Finger Interests, said his company cast its votes against all of the bank’s directors.

Staff writer Rick Rothacker contributed.

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