Magazine article American Banker

Deal Means Changes for Asset Management Unit

Magazine article American Banker

Deal Means Changes for Asset Management Unit

Article excerpt

There apparently will be few major changes inside Bank of America Corp.'s executive suite after B of A buys FleetBoston Financial Corp. -- with one notable exception.

Richard DeMartini, the embattled head of Bank of America's New York-based asset management group, is to leave once the deal closes, B of A announced. In his place, Fleet executive Brian Moynihan will lead a reconfigured wealth management division that is to be headquartered in Boston and combine the two companies' wealth management and brokerage operations.

Mr. DeMartini was the only senior person to retain his job among the handful of B of A employees and executives whose names surfaced in connection with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's investigation of mutual fund trading abuses. Since Mr. Spitzer first raised the issue in September, B of A has fired several employees, including a broker, a manager, and its mutual fund chief.

Chairman and chief executive Kenneth D. Lewis had little to say Monday beyond announcing the plan for Mr. DeMartini to leave. "At the time of the completion of the transition, Mr. DeMartini will retire," Mr. Lewis said. A spokeswoman declined to comment further.

The $47 billion deal comes as B of A and Fleet are being scrutinized by regulators. The Securities and Exchange Commission said last week that it was investigating trading activities of Fleet's market specialist unit. B of A faces probes into allegations of illegal and improper trades by its mutual fund unit.

Both Mr. …

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