(Bloomberg) — Bank of America Corp. announced its most significant leadership changes since the financial crisis, replacing the chief financial officer and elevating five new members to the senior management team, including three women.
Alastair Borthwick, president of global commercial banking, will replace CFO Paul Donofrio next quarter, the company said Friday in an internal memo. Dean Athanasia, head of the consumer and small-business unit, will take on a larger role at the firm by adding responsibility for the commercial bank.
With the shake-up, Bank of America is paving the way for a new generation of leaders under Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan, and follows in the wake of last month’s announcement that Chief Operating Officer Thomas Montag, who was also responsible for the investment-banking operation, plans to depart at year-end.
Matthew Koder, president of corporate and investment banking, and Jim DeMare, president of global markets, will continue in their roles but take on more responsibility to fill the void that Montag, 64, leaves in the investment-banking division.
The changes reflect the bank’s “ongoing effort to develop generations of diverse leaders who are deeply experienced and energized to drive the company’s growth,” Moynihan, 61, said in the memo. “It will continue to be my privilege to serve with them as CEO as we drive responsible growth through its second decade.”
Athanasia, 55, is one of Bank of America’s longest-serving executives, and soared up the ranks of the firm’s largest business. He most recently took charge of more than 70,000 employees who were responsible for more than 66 million U.S. consumers. He’s held roles across banking clients that ranged from the ultra-wealthy to small businesses, while being responsible for adding thousands of financial advisers to the firm.
The bank also announced senior departures, including Sanaz Zaimi, head of fixed-income, currencies and commodities sales. Zaimi rose under Montag as one of the most senior women in the investment-banking division. She took the lead on international banking deals and moved to head of FICC sales amid an executive shake-up in 2020.
Shares of the company fell 0.9% to $40.55 at 10:48 a.m. in New York. They’ve climbed 34% this year.
New direct reports to Moynihan include Koder, DeMare, Bernie Mensah, Lauren Mogensen, Aditya Bhasin, Tom Scrivener, Steve Boland, Bruce Thompson and Borthwick, according to people familiar with the changes. Of the nine direct reports, one is Asian, two are black and one is a woman.
Andrea Smith, chief administrative officer, will retire at year-end after almost 34 years at the bank, according to the memo. Boland, head of retail banking, will step into Smith’s role as CAO and continue to serve as vice chair of the bank’s global diversity and inclusion council. He’s one of the most senior black executives at the bank.
Montag has overseen the investment bank since he joined the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company through its takeover of Merrill Lynch during the 2008 financial crisis. He and Vice Chairman Anne Finucane, who also plans to retire at year-end, were critical to the bank’s rebuilding for more than a decade, and will stay on as members of the company’s global advisory council, Bank of America said in August.
The new members of the management team are Bhasin, Mogensen, Holly O’Neill, Scrivener and Wendy Stewart, according to the memo. Three of the five are women, including O’Neill, who takes over for Boland as head of retail banking. She oversaw the banks’ loan rollout for the paycheck protection program as well as other logistical challenges during the pandemic. Stewart was appointed president of global commercial banking and will report to Athanasia.
Mogensen, the third woman to be added to the management team, will become global general counsel, succeeding David Leitch, who plans to retire next year, according to the memo. Donofrio, the current CFO, will become vice chairman, overseeing sustainable finance.
Borthwick, the new CFO, currently heads the lender’s expansive commercial-banking operation, which serves midsize companies and industries such as real estate and education. The 52-year-old joined the management team in 2020, while working closely with Montag on deals.
Borthwick, who previously worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has been in his position atop commercial banking since 2012. He was also co-head of capital markets, which included responsibility for equity capital markets, investment-grade debt capital markets, leveraged finance and origination for rates and currencies.
Last year, the company elevated eight executives to its management team, the senior-most decision-making body at the company. Those shifts came a decade after Moynihan took the helm amid the global financial crisis. Since then, he’s steered the lender through another period of economic turmoil, this time caused by the coronavirus pandemic.