BofA Adds Strategists after Lead Director's Departure
Bank of America (BAC) saw a bit of shuffling this weekend after announcing late Friday that 13-year company veteran O. Temple Sloan Jr. resigned his leading post on the board of directors. Sloan, who also served as chairman to the board of directors' executive and compensation committees, stepped down in the face of government-initiated stress test results showing the bank lacked $33.9bn in fresh capital to withstand more dire economic circumstances. BofA's corporate and investment banking segment today said it hired on Barclays' (BCS) Ethan Harris and UBS' (UBS) David Bianco to head up the North American economics and US equity strategy divisions, respectively. The announcement marks the addition of a renowned economist and top strategy chief just as BofA finds itself in need of raising billions of dollars in fresh capital to satisfy the government's stress test. Harris hails from Lehman Brothers, where he served as chief US economist since '03, and the New York Federal Reserve Bank before that. An author, Harris earned his doctorate in economics from Columbia University. He starts at BofA in September. Bianco served most recently as chief of US equity portfolio strategist and head of US valuation and accounting research. He previously served as chief US quantitative strategist at Deutsche Bank and as a senior equity analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston. He starts at BofA in July. Banc of America Securities-Merrill Lynch Research also announced the appointment of Michael Hartnett as chairman of the research investment committee. Elsewhere, a former senior vice president at BofA's structured finance division, Charles Salter III, joined Titanium Holdings. The homeowner contacting and consulting services provider named Salter chief financial officer and entrusted him to head up financial and fiscal management aspects of the company. Disclosure: The author holds no investment positions.