Whoever is lucky enough to get the top job running the beleaguered Bank of America might have Andrew Cuomo to thank.
The big bank announced today that it’s retained headhunter Russell Reynolds Associates to help the company find a new C.E.O., according to the Wall Street Journal.
It comes one day after Bank of America agreed to release all legal paperwork related to their acquisition of Merrill Lynch—at the rather forceful request of Mr. Cuomo.
Before that surprise turn, the smart money had been on internal executives Brian Moynihan and Greg Curl to succeed outgoing C.E.O. Ken Lewis, who announced two weeks ago that he would resign by year’s end. But Mr. Moynihan and Mr. Curl were both intimately involved in the controversial Merrill deal, which pre-approved bonuses for Merrill executives without telling the bank’s shareholders that the bonuses were part of the merger.
“Surely these individuals were involved—hands on—in details related to the Merrill Lynch transaction,” said one of the bank’s largest, and most interestingly-named shareholders, Finger Interests Number One Ltd. in a filing last week. “In the ongoing investigations, how can the board of directors be certain that neither individual will be charged or implicated in wrongdoing?”
So, with all those documents heading to Mr. Cuomo’s office—and to the S.E.C.—in the next few weeks, the company is apparently considering outside candidates.