By Rick Rothacker
Jan 23 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp on Wednesday appointed two new directors as the second-largest U.S. bank continues to revamp a board that is likely to lose members to retirement this year.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank now has 18 directors with the addition of Arnold Donald, the former chief executive of sweetener manufacturer Merisant Co, and Lionel Nowell II, a former treasurer of PepsiCo Inc.
In August, the board named four new directors in what the bank said was anticipation of directors reaching retirement age when their terms expired this spring.
The bank’s most recent proxy filing says a director who has reached the age of 72 or older should not be nominated for re-election, although the board can make exceptions.
Three directors are currently at or near that age: MillerCoors senior adviser Virgis Colbert (73), Carlyle Group senior adviser Charles Rossotti (72) and former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp Chairman Donald Powell (71), according to the bank’s website.
A Bank of America spokesman declined to comment on possible retirements or the future size of the board. The bank will disclose which directors are running for re-elecion in its proxy filing this spring. In September 2009, the board approved a resolution to set its size at 15 directors.
The new additions are just the latest makeover for the bank’s board.
In May 2009, under pressure from the U.S. government, Bank of America announced plans to add more directors with financial expertise and banking experience as the bank struggled with its Merrill Lynch acquisition and faced a capital shortfall. In the next few months, the bank named six new directors, while other board members stepped down.
If Powell departs, only three of the six directors added in the latter half of 2009 will remain. Rossotti and Colbert are former Merrill directors.
In Brian Moynihan’s three years as CEO, the bank has made progress in building capital and settling mortgage-related litigation, but the bank is under pressure to show it can boost profits at a time of low interest rates and new regulations that are crimping fees.