NEW YORK (
) - Here's the news and headlines that could move financial stocks today.
Bank of America
is looking to set up an international advisory board to help steer its overseas growth strategy, according to a
Wall Street Journal
The bank has hired Risgeway Partners to find candidates. The board would have 10 to 15 members with backgrounds ranging from politics to securities regulation.
The search for the panel comes at a time when at least five of the bank's 13 directors are age 70, or older. The bank has a mandatory retirement age of 72 for its directors.
Bank of America lags behind
in its international presence.
reached a deal with a leading union pension fund to appoint a "lead" director, temporarily staving off calls to remove Lloyd Blankfein from the post of Chairman and replace him with an independent director.
Goldman Sachs CEO and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein
Blankfein holds both the CEO and Chairman positions at Goldman Sachs. Previous calls to separate those roles to reduce potential conflicts of interest have been shot down by shareholders.
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which holds over 7000 shares in the company, had proposed to replace Blankfein but withdrew its proposal after the deal was reached. Still, the union has said it is not sure if the appointment of a lead director is enough to put concerns to rest.
Goldman's reputation has come under attack in recent weeks, following the public resignation of a former employee who accused the firm of putting money before clients' interests. That has once again raised the pressure on the investment bank to address its corporate governance practices.
Shareholders will vote in the firm's annual meeting in May on a proposal to replace Blankfein as independent chairman. According to the report, management has held discussions about reducing the role of Blankfein to Chairman and promoting COO Gary Cohn to the chief executive position if the union's proposal is passed.
is facing a class action lawsuit from investors who accuse the bank of marketing a loan program as safe investment when in fact, the bank invested their money in illiquid and risky profucts such as mortgage-backed securities,
The City of Farmington Hills Employees Retirement System, a pension plan, sued Wells Fargo in October 2010 on behalf of 100 institutional investors over its securities lending program.
Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York.
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