Bank of America’s message to activist investors: bring it.
The bank’s CEO Brian Moynihan told CNBC Thursday that the bank is “all ears” to suggestions from activist investors.
This comes as ValueAct Capital, an activist hedge fund, took a suprisingly large stake in rival bank Morgan Stanley last month.
Morgan Stanley wasn’t the only hoped-for target, it appears.
Some investors in Bank of America had been gunning for an activist to shake up BofA, the Wall Street Journal’s Christina Rexrode reported last month. Those investors reached out to activists including ValueAct, but the activists decided BofA was too big of a bank to accumulate a large enough stake, according to the Journal report.
Wilfred Frost at CNBC asked Moynihan whether he feared activists investors, given Bank of America is trading below book value. Here’s what he said (emphasis ours):
“We’re driving a thing we call responsible growth. You’ve got to grow no excuses. We got to do it the right way. It’s got to be sustainable investing in the future, technology, the way we conduct our business and govern ourselves. That we’ve been driving. And if somebody has better ideas about how to manage our company, we’re all ears. And we’ll, by the way, we talk to shareholders all the time. We hear from them. And, so, our view is we’re driving this company back to the successful point. We’re partway there. We’re most of the way there. But we have more to go. And that will then lift the earnings even further.”
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