Sallie Krawcheck, one of the most powerful women on Wall Street, has ended her year-long absence from the wealth management industry with an auspicious return. According to Bank of America, the former CFO of Citi and one-time CEO of Citi’s wealth management unit, which included Smith Barney, Citi Private Bank and Citi’s equity research unit, will lead Bank of America’s global wealth and investment management division (i.e Merrill Lynch). Krawcheck, who enjoyed a “Mrs. Clean reputation,” would, with this position, be among those in line to replace BoA CEO Ken Lewis—who is getting hammered by regulators and the press alike.
Krawcheck, who will also be a member of the executive management team, takes over territory held by Brian Moynihan. The executive change is just one of many announced today by Bank of America. Moynihan will now run consumer banking replacing Liam McGee, a one-time succession prospect for Lewis; McGee, a 20-year veteran, is leaving the firm, according to the BoA release. Additionally, Tom Montag, who came to BofA from Merrill Lynch, will run Global Corporate and Investment Banking; David Darnell, who runs commercial banking, will now report directly to Lewis.
One recruiter Rep. spoke to found Krawcheck’s hire “bizarre.” Acknowledging that he’d like to continue working with the firm, he requested anonymity before adding that he thinks Krawcheck was “certainly part of the reason Smith Barney went into a tail-spin” over the last couple years. That said, he called her “extraordinarily charismatic.” Registered Rep. reported on Krawcheck’s departure from Smith Barney in September 2008 and later analyzed a variety reasons why she was pushed out, as well as the future implications for the firm in this November story.
“The company and the environment have changed significantly,” Lewis said in a statement. “Considering these challenges and working closely with our board, I reviewed the management team and have decided to make some changes, bringing new talent into the team and adding new perspectives. These changes also position a number of senior executives to compete to succeed me at the appropriate time.”