Merrill's John Thain to lead Bank of America unit
John Thain, the Merrill Lynch & Co. CEO who engineered the troubled firm’s sale to Bank of America Corp., will head investment banking, securities, and wealth management for the combined companies.
Thain will be president of Global Banking, Securities and Wealth Management, a new division that will include Bank of America’s corporate and investment bank and most of its wealth and investment-management business, now based in Boston — such as the company’s securities brokerage and asset-management units.
Whether the Boston unit’s chief, Keith Banks, will remain with the bank is under discussion, a Bank of America spokesman said.
Analysts don’t expect Thain, who has led two major companies, to remain in his new job for long. They look for him to aim for the top spot at Bank of America or seek a CEO job elsewhere.
‘‘The fact is that he’s a CEO — he’s not going to stay long,’’ said Greg Donaldson, of Donaldson Capital Management in Evansville, Ind. Thain was previously chief executive at NYSE Euronext Inc.
A Merrill spokeswoman declined to comment. Jim Mahoney, a spokesman for Bank of America, said, ‘‘The issue of succession was not central to his [Thain’s] conversations’’ with Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis.
Thain has presided over substantial write-downs. Merrill’s total tally is over $20 billion for this year. Merrill’s troubles stemmed from aggressive risk-taking in complex securities during the tenure of Thain’s predecessor.
(Globe staff and wire reports)