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Bank of America chairman, CEO to continue in both roles after critical vote

By
Doug G. Ware
Bank of America shareholders on Tuesday approved a change to the bank's bylaws that allows the board of directors to dictate leadership structure -- a move that will keep Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan in both positions. Photo: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock
Bank of America shareholders on Tuesday approved a change to the bank's bylaws that allows the board of directors to dictate leadership structure -- a move that will keep Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan in both positions. Photo: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 22 (UPI) -- After several tumultuous years at the helm of Bank of America, president and chief executive Brian Moynihan received a critical vote of confidence Tuesday that will allow him to continue in both capacities, officials said.

Shareholders effectively approved a leadership structure that was proposed last year that keeps Moynihan in both roles.

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Technically, the vote approved changes to BoA's bylaws that allow its board of directors to designate the bank's officers.

The North Carolina-based bank has struggled since the end of the financial crisis in 2009 and Moynihan, who has served as chairman and CEO since then, has presided over tough times -- including loan losses and litigation costs related to the mortgage crisis.

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The bank lobbied for weeks ahead of Tuesday's vote for Moynihan's continued occupation of both roles -- something some analysts have questioned.

Shareholders backed Moynihan to continue in both roles by a 63 percent vote in a meeting Tuesday that lasted about 15 minutes.

"We are pleased our shareholders had the chance to express their views, and we appreciate their support to continue driving our company forward for them and for our customers and clients," Moynihan said.

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"We held today's vote in direct response to extensive shareholder engagement," Lead Independent Director Jack Bovender said. "We appreciate the opportunity so many of our shareholders gave us to discuss this issue, and our board looks forward to continuing this constructive engagement."

Prior to the vote, bank officials acknowledged the process could be contentious and that the result could go either way. The concern from many was that as both chairman and CEO, Moynihan wields too much power.

Tuesday's vote indicates, however, that shareholders believe he is well-suited for both roles.

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However, the bank acknowledged that Tuesday's are preliminary results. Full final results will be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee this week, the bank said.

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