(Corrects first paragraph to clarify that Ruth's departure is
for a leave of absence)
May 12 Kim Ruth, who was drafted from the
commercial banking ranks of Bank of America two months ago to
take a senior sales management position at Merrill Lynch Wealth
Management, is taking a leave of absence from the company, a
Merrill spokeswoman said Monday.
Ruth was elevated to the position of Southwest Region
executive as part of a broad restructuring of Merrill's sales
management ranks in March by John Thiel, head of the brokerage
and private banking network owned by Bank of America. The firm
has executives in 11 regions.
The appointment of Ruth, who was to have worked from
California, took some Merrill brokers by surprise because she
had been a business banking executive for Bank of America in
Texas but had no direct brokerage experience.
The bank purchased Merrill Lynch in January 2009 during the
Ruth has been replaced as Southwest Region executive by Ben
Prince, who manages a complex of Merrill branches with 170
brokers in the San Francisco area. Prince, who was previously
regional managing director for Merrill's Northwest Region, will
relocate from northern California to Los Angeles in his new
"Kim Ruth has made the decision to resign as market
executive for the Southwest and will take a personal leave from
the company," the spokeswoman wrote in an email. "We support Kim
in her decision to do what is right for her and her family, and
wish her well as she decides the next chapter in her career."
(Reporting by Jed Horowitz; Editing by Dan Grebler)