Behind the surprise move by Bank of America to hire Sallie Krawcheck to run its brokerage business was a little known but influential executive.
We are told by a person familiar with the matter that Krawcheck was hired at the urging of Anne Finucane, the chief marketing officer of Bank of America. Over the years Finucane has played a central role in Bank of America’s development of new business lines. So when she urged chief executive Ken Lewis to hire Krawcheck, she was able to exercise a lot of influence. Finucane is also the bank’s head of public affairs, which makes her the point woman when it comes to dealing with the government.
Krawcheck’s interview with Lewis himself was reportedly a brief, almost cursory affair. Finucane, who is married to Boston journalist Mike Barnicle (who worked for the Boston Globe for years, and now is under contract for MSNBC), had laid the ground work by arguing how important it would be for the bank to hire a woman into the new position.
Finucane is also said to be close to FDIC chair Sheila Bair. Lewis may have believed that hiring Krawcheck would also help him with his regulatory issues. Several board members of Bank of America have had to be replaced at the urging of the government in recent months.
image: MS Foundation
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