Bank of America Shuffles Wealth Management Ranks

By Lisa Beilfuss Features Dow Jones Newswires

Bank of America Corp. is shuffling the top ranks within its wealth-management unit, a move that comes as the business takes on increasing importance across Wall Street.

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The Charlotte, N.C., bank said in a memo that it has named company veteran Keith Banks as vice chairman of the Global Wealth and Investment Management unit, which includes Merrill Lynch, U.S. Trust and other wealth-management operations. Mr. Banks will relinquish his position as head of U.S. Trust, which he has led since 2009.

In his new role, Mr. Banks joins John Thiel, another wealth vice chairman who last October stepped down as head of Merrill Lynch after a roughly five-year stint. At the time, Bank of America said the vice chairman of the global wealth unit would advise Terry Laughlin, Bank of America vice chairman and head of Global Wealth and Investment Management, on business integration, goals-based wealth management and regulatory matters.

Mr. Banks will maintain his role as head of the Chief Investment Office and Investment Solutions Groups, which he assumed in November. "The move supports Keith's continued leadership of a fundamental change in how we serve ... clients, deploying investment solutions, including model portfolios," the bank said in the memo.

Messrs. Banks and Thiel weren't available for comment.

U.S. Trust, acquired by Bank of America for $3.3 billion in 2007, caters to high- and ultra-high-net-worth clients. A spokeswoman credited Mr. Banks with turning around U.S. Trust, which struggled in recent years as the economy stumbled and it lost advisers and clients.

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Katy Knox, who has been with Bank of America since 1986, will succeed Mr. Banks at the top of U.S. Trust, the memo said. Ms. Knox formerly led business banking at Bank of America.

Ms. Knox wasn't available for comment.

Both Mr. Banks and Ms. Knox will report to Mr. Laughlin, the memo said, and they will work to transition the leadership of U.S. Trust through year's end.

Write to Lisa Beilfuss at lisa.beilfuss@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 29, 2017 17:04 ET (21:04 GMT)