B of A shareholders want Lewis out

Marketplace Staff Apr 29, 2009
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B of A shareholders want Lewis out

Marketplace Staff Apr 29, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: The Bank of America shareholder meeting is today in Charlotte, N.C. For CEO Ken Lewis, it promises to be a “donnybrook,” possibly a “rhubarb.” I’m going to go with “fracas,” actually, but it’s definitely going to be no fun for him, as Julie Rose reports from WFAE in Charlotte.


Julie Rose: Bank annual meetings are generally pretty boring affairs. But that was before Bank of America took $45 billion federal bailout dollars. And before it acquired Merrill Lynch. Bank of America’s stock has since plunged 70 percent.

Tony Plath: This year is gonna be a very raucous, very contentious meeting. And somewhat embarrassing from the standpoint of management.

That’s banking expert Tony Plath of UNC-Charlotte. Angry shareholders are mobilizing to remove three members of the bank’s board, including its chairman, CEO Ken Lewis.

Houston investor Jonathan Finger has spent $100,000 on the grassroots effort:

Jonathan Finger: We’re trying to get a board of directors that is active in overseeing management, number one. And number two, protecting the interest of shareholders.

Analysts say it’s unlikely the dissident shareholders will boot Lewis from the board. But they could get enough to send a strong message.

Momentum has built in recent weeks with the support of several advisory groups. Those groups have a lot of sway with Bank of America’s biggest shareholders.

In Charlotte, I’m Julie Rose for Marketplace.

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