Bank of America ( BAC) has snagged a top UBS ( UBS) banker to lead its global asset management and investment banking operations, the company said Tuesday. Steven Niemczyk, who had been in the same position at UBS, will join BofA's Global Corporate & Investment Banking business and report to Michael Rubinoff, who leads the Global Financial Institutions Corporate & Investment Banking division. He plans to relocate from London to New York in June. The move comes as the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank handles criticism about a clash of cultures between BofA and its newly acquired Merrill Lynch that sent top talent fleeing to competing firms. Public outrage at compensation practices at banks that have received bailout funds from the U.S. government also has pushed executives to firms headquartered overseas. CEO Ken Lewis addressed the issue last week on CNBC, saying that some employees had taken offers at foreign banks, while others didn't meet performance targets. Separately on Tuesday, the Change to Win Investment Group sent a letter to BofA's board of directors demanding that they rescind any bonuses that were paid to Merrill executives which exceeded $1 million last quarter. Merrill lost over $15 billion during the fourth quarter, but paid 696 employees bonuses of that level or higher. In demanding the bonus clawback, CtW called Merrill's distribution of $3.6 billion in incentive payments "premature and undeserved," and stating that they "came at the expense of Bank of America and its shareholders." CtW also believes the payments constitute "unjust enrichment" under Delaware Law. While BofA has said it has no legal recourse to change them, lawmakers and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo are already investigating the bonuses.
BofA shares were up a penny at $7.49 in afternoon trading.