Despite a number of questions both about his job performance and the questionable work culture at Bank of America, Brian Moynihan won the right to continue to act as both Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board at BoA in a shareholder vote Tuesday.
The results of the vote were made public after a brief shareholder meeting at the bank’s headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. BoA announced that 63% of shares voted were in support of the proposal to allow Moynihan to stay on in both jobs.
Around 100 people attended the BoA shareholder meeting, and four people made comments before the vote, including CLSA analyst Mike Mayo and Craig Rhines, a representative of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, who was opposed to the proposal.
Moynihan gets vote of confidence, BoA can move on
BoA lead independent director Jack Bovender was one of the only board members attending the meeting. He commented: “These are relationships that we value greatly and that we will continue to invest in.”
The results on the BoA proposal are clearly a vote of confidence for Moynihan, who has worked for six years trying to deal with loan losses and low interest rates as well as high litigation costs from the mortgage crisis.
Analysts note that this win for Bank of America will mean Moynihan can move on from this issue and focus on improving operations. A few shareholder activists investors have said they will continue to press for new blood on the bank’s board or other changes. Of note, having one person serving as both CEO and Chairman is common at other large U.S. banks.
Brief statement from Moynihan
“We’re happy with the results,” Moynihan noted after the vote.
Of interest, barely 6% of proposals made at large U.S. corporations recommending that the CEO and chairman roles be divided have been approved over the last decade, based on data from ISS Voting Analytics. Proposals to break up the CEO and chairman roles have gained an average of about 30% support so far this year, compared to the 37% support in the BoA vote.
Asked following the vote if he would have let shareholders vote on the subject before the proposal was forced to a vote by activists, Moynihan said, “You don’t look back.”