Two Post-Crisis Leaders of Bank of America to Retire

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The two great figures who helped Bank of America come out of the financial crisis a decade ago will retire at the end of the year, the bank said on Thursday.

The departure of Anne Finucane, the bank’s vice president and one of Wall Street’s most powerful women, and Thomas K. Montag, the bank’s head of tough operations, opens the door to new leadership at the top of the nation’s second-largest bank.

The bank has played crucial roles in restoring profits and rebuilding the company’s image after it suffered a major reputational and financial blow from the 2008 housing market crash. Bank of America’s acquisition of subprime mortgage giant Countrywide Financial during the crash made it one of the banks. the most despised players of the crisis. In the following decade, the bank paid $76.1 billion. fines, the most among the largest banks in the country.

Miss Finucane, chief architect The bank said the bank’s image overhaul will become non-executive head of Bank of America’s European banking arm and join its global advisory council. Mr. Montag will also join the council; The bank said succession plans will be announced within weeks.

“I am very proud that we have restored the company’s reputation,” Ms Finucane said in an interview. “The management team got involved and worked together to improve everything we had power over: the customer experience, the number of jobs we’d be in, the culture.”

Finucane has been the bank’s frequent contact when it took a stand on controversial issues. When took a step back He voiced the bank’s position as one of the financing companies that made military-style assault rifles for civilians in 2018. Miss Finucane did it again when the bank decided to do it. stop lending To companies operating private prisons and detention centers in 2019.

Ms. Finucane is even the humble CEO of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan. Appearing in a 2018 ad Released during “Sunday Night Football” and “This is Us” as part of the rebranding campaign. It was a direct personal approach that was unthinkable ten years ago.

“Anne has been a trusted advisor and invaluable partner for many years,” Mr. Moynihan said in a statement. “Since her time as one of the few senior female executives working in financial services today, she has provided a unique strategic vision.”

Leading the bank’s efforts on environmental, social and governance issues, Ms Finucane urged financial companies to do more to combat climate change.

John Kerry, President Biden’s climate representative and former chairman of the bank’s advisory council, called him “one of the leaders who helped open people’s eyes” to the role companies can play in tackling the climate crisis. “Very knowledgeable about current affairs.”

A more polarizing figure is Mr. Montag, who joined brokerage firm Merrill Lynch, which faltered shortly before it was acquired by Bank of America at the height of the mortgage crisis. It was crucial to rebuilding Bank of America’s profits – for years paid more Moynihan – and led investment bankers to record fees during the 2020 market turmoil, while traders also unexpectedly benefited from the market volatility caused by the pandemic.

Mr. Moynihan said Mr. Montag joined the bank during “one of the most challenging times in the history of financial services” and has expertly steered the bank towards responsible growth. “We will remember Tom’s work ethic, innovative thinking, and dedication to customers and teammates,” he said.

Mr. Montag has been described by his supporters as intelligent, charismatic and caring. But under his leadership, some employees felt pressure to be in the office while the bank’s competitors have adopted work-from-home policies or the risk of not being a bank. “Tom’s friend.”

“It’s rare to find a leader like Tom who combines capital market expertise with his ability to connect and motivate people,” said Hank Paulson, former Treasury secretary and head of Goldman Sachs. “Customers love working with him, getting results, and doing it with integrity.”

While Mr. Montag helped rebuild the bank’s Wall Street arm after the crisis, Ms. Finucane led efforts to persuade those who opposed it that Bank of America had become a better corporate citizen.

This year he oversees the bank’s public policy. committed an extra $10 billion After George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were killed by police bullets, the bank committed $1 billion over four years to advance racial equality. When the minimum wage debate escalated, he announced his plans. raise the base wage For $25 by 2025, just days before Mr Moynihan and other bank bosses are scheduled to testify before lawmakers.

A commercial advertising specialist, Ms. Finucane was responsible for marketing at FleetBoston Financial, which was later acquired by Bank of America. When the local housing market collapsed in 2008, he was strategizing and marketing for the bank’s chief, Ken Lewis.

As her influence grew, Ms Finucane was promoted to vice president in 2015 and a rare senior female executive On Wall Street despite lacking traditional banking experience.

“It’s hard to walk away from me if I have a point of view because I’m just going to stick with it,” Ms Finucane said. “I make up for what I lack in talent, in terms of stamina.”

Ms. Finucane was born in Massachusetts and has deep ties to Democratic politics. Mr. Kerry is a close friend of Ms. Finucane and her husband, journalist Mike Barnicle, who is a regular contributor to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”. Christopher J. Dodd, a former Democratic senator from Connecticut, is another family friend.

“There’s something about the water in Massachusetts – they’re infused with a political antenna that we don’t have,” said Mr. Dodd.

Mr. Dodd, co-author of the Dodd-Frank law that reshaped Wall Street and which banks vehemently opposed, said Ms Finucane is a pragmatist who recognizes that more regulation is inevitable after the Great Recession. Although he is not a politician, he is skilled at reading a room and is “very well disposed to people,” he said.

Dina Powell McCormick, deputy national security adviser during the Trump administration and now leading Goldman’s sustainability and inclusive growth efforts, said Ms Finucane’s ability to navigate the business and government worlds has increased her effectiveness.

“He’s investing in his friends and women,” said Ms. Powell McCormick, who collaborated with Ms. Finucane on initiatives to lend to women entrepreneurs through the Tory Burch Foundation. “I would say she was one of the first to reach out to other women and try to build this community.”

Equipped with colorful scarves, hoop earrings and voluminous short hair, Finucane said that being one of the few female executives at the high-level talks on Capitol Hill was indomitable.

“Sometimes,” he said, “being the different person in the room makes you the person other people feel they can trust.”

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