By John Kell and Alan Murray
September 8, 2015

Pressure is rising on Bank of America to re-separate the roles of Chairman and CEO. The proxy advisory firm ISS joined the battle Friday, adding its voice to those saying the bank would benefit from an independent chairman. Shareholders will vote on the matter September 22.


The pressure to separate the two positions is rooted in good governance. But while it is standard practice elsewhere in the world, American CEOs continue to view the chairman’s title as a prize to be coveted. About half the CEOs at big U.S. companies hold both titles — down from two thirds a decade ago.


Does it matter? Boards of directors need strong leadership, That can come from a lead independent director as well as from an independent chairman. But at a time when public concern about the accountability of big corporations is on the rise (anyone out there listening to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump?), a clear separation makes sense. It’s probably time for the folks at the top to stop fighting the trend.


More news below.


Alan Murray


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