* Moynihan set to speak at conference on Tuesday
* Bank also makes CFO, co-COO available to some investors
* Charm offensive comes as B of A shares face pressure
By Lauren Tara LaCapra and Rick Rothacker
Dec 2 Bank of America Chief Executive Officer
Brian Moynihan will have his work cut out for him next week
when he speaks at an investor conference in New York, despite a
recent uptick in his bank's stock price.
Shares of the second largest U.S. bank have bounced around
a 52-week low and threatened to fall below $5 earlier this
week, before central banks pumped more liquidity into the
financial system and bank stocks surged.
Moynihan has been shedding assets to build capital and
working to cut expenses to improve profits. But investors
remain worried about the bank's mortgage liabilities and the
strength of its balance sheet.
About the time Moynihan speaks on Tuesday, the bank will
also make two top executives available for private meetings
The bank has notified hundreds of institutional investors
about the meetings but only a few are expected to attend, a
person familiar with the matter said. It often holds such
meetings around investor conferences, the person added.
At least two of the investors invited to the private
meetings with co-Chief Operating Officer Tom Montag and Chief
Financial Officer Bruce Thompson have been selling Bank of
America shares short, a trade that profits if the bank's shares
drop. The bank may be trying to charm skeptics, one of the
Any communication with investors is a positive, said Jon
Finger, a Houston-based Bank of America investor, who has been
a vocal critic of the bank's recent acquisitions.
"There's a lot of fear and concern about the stock," said
Finger, who was not invited to the meetings. "To the extent,
the bank communicates with investors and reduces fear, the
stock could perform better."
In one email obtained by Reuters, the bank said it had room
for eight to 10 investors to attend a one-hour meeting with
Montag at the bank's New York headquarters. The former Merrill
Lynch and Goldman Sachs executive runs the bank's global
banking and markets unit and added the title of co-chief
operating officer after a management shake-up in September.
Executives cannot give investors material nonpublic
information, but they can reiterate comments that the bank has
Bank stocks in general have been buffeted by concerns about
the European debt crisis and the economy, but Bank of America's
shares have been particularly susceptible to wild swings amid
concerns about its capital levels.
Bank of America's shares closed at $5.08 on Tuesday, their
lowest point since March 2009, but were at $5.63 in late
afternoon trade on Friday. As of Thursday, the shares were down
58 percent this year, compared to 27 percent decline in the KBW
This year, Moynihan has made a number of efforts to lay out
his strategy for investors but hasn't been able to assuage
their concerns about the bank's mortgage liabilities and its
ability to meet new capital standards.
The bank held its first investor day in four years in
March, but Moynihan's comments about a possible increase in the
bank's dividend came back to haunt him when the the Fed denied
the request. In August, Moynihan participated in an unusual
public conference call with fund manager Bruce Berkowitz but
the bank's shares have continued to slide.
Next week, he will be one of a number of bank CEOs to give
presentations at the annual Goldman Sachs Financial Services
Conference. It will be Moynihan's first conference since his
bank's board held a strategy retreat last month.