Company Update (NYSE:BAC): Bank of America Corp Announces Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Leadership Changes

bac2Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) announced that John Thiel, current head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, has decided to step down from his position and will take on a new role as vice chairman of Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM), effective January 1, 2017.

Andy Sieg, current head of the company’s Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions division, will succeed Thiel as head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, effective January 1, 2017.

For the past five years, Sieg has led Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions (GWRS), comprised of the GWIM division’s product organization and retirement business. During that time, he worked with Thiel in the implementation of goals-based wealth management and has overseen the strong growth of the retirement business. Sieg was also instrumental in the firm’s development of a unified investment platform that will be critical to providing best-in-class investment solutions to clients.

In addition to his leadership of GWRS, Sieg also currently manages the GWIM Chief Investment Office team together with Keith Banks, president of U.S. Trust, ensuring that Merrill Lynch clients and advisors have a complete range of investment solutions along with the intellectual capital of the entire Bank of America organization to serve clients.

As vice chairman of GWIM, Thiel will advise Terry Laughlin, Bank of America vice chairman and head of Global Wealth and Investment Management, and the Bank of America and GWIM leadership teams on business integration, goals-based wealth management and regulatory matters.

“Since 2011, under John Thiel’s leadership, Merrill Lynch has made tremendous progress by developing and beginning to implement goals-based wealth management,” said Laughlin.

“Recognizing that our strategy has been proven and is now being implemented, John came to me and indicated he was thinking about his future and his desire to connect to the other passions in his life, particularly his commitment to working with organizations that help people who are less fortunate. As he considers how he can make his next important contribution, I’m very happy that he’ll be an important advisor to me, the Bank of America and GWIM management teams, and our advisors.”

“Andy Sieg has more than 20 years of experience at Merrill Lynch and has proven to be both a dynamic leader and accomplished at strategy execution. Under Andy’s leadership, we’ll continue to implement our goals-based advice model. He is ideally suited to lead Merrill Lynch on the next phase of its journey.”

Sieg commented, “One of the first things I learned after joining Merrill Lynch in 1992 was the founding principle that the interests of our customers must come first. I’m proud that we’ve kept that embedded in our company. We have the finest financial advisors in the world, and I am honored to be asked to lead them.”

Sieg first joined Merrill Lynch as an analyst in the Global Wealth Management business. He served in senior strategy and field leadership roles over the next 13 years, including as a market executive in San Diego and New York City. Sieg also led the Emerging Affluent Client Segment within Citigroup Global Wealth Management from 2005 to 2009. (Original Source)

Shares of Bank of America are currently trading at $16.12, up $0.01 or 0.06%. BAC has a 1-year high of $18.09 and a 1-year low of $10.99. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $15.57 and its 200-day moving average is $14.35.

On the ratings front, BAC stock has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on October 3, Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski assigned a Buy rating on BAC, with a price target of $19, which represents a potential upside of 17.5% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on September 29, Nomura’s Steven Chubak reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $19.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Chris Kotowski and Steven Chubak have a total average return of 2.9% and 7.6% respectively. Kotowski has a success rate of 61% and is ranked #528 out of 4190 analysts, while Chubak has a success rate of 71% and is ranked #588.

The street is mostly Bullish on BAC stock. Out of 23 analysts who cover the stock, 18 suggest a Buy rating and 5 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $17.97, which represents a potential upside of 11.1% from where the stock is currently trading.


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