Bank of America has promoted John Thiel to head of Merrill Lynch U.S. Wealth Management replacing Lyle LaMothe, who is retiring, according to a company memo sent out by wealth management division President Sallie Krawcheck on Wednesday.

Thiel, 50, will take on the new role on May 1 after previously serving as head of the Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group, which has more than $160 billion in assets. In his current role, Thiel has worked to develop a client service strategy targeting ultra-high net worth investors, design investment management products and develop generational transition strategies, according to the memo.

Prior to that role, Thiel served as chairman of the firms’ leadership advisory council to management from 2003 to 2005. He also served as regional managing director in San Francisco, opening the private wealth management business for the Pacific West region. Before that, he was a regional director in Oakbrook and Northbrook, Ill. and also served on the global private client advisory division leadership team. Thiel joined Merrill Lynch in 1989 as a financial advisor based in Tampa, Fla.

“John is one of our most accomplished senior managers and I know he will build on his successes to impact our wealth management business more broadly,” Krawcheck said in the memo. “John possesses deep wealth management and Merrill Lynch experience and has a strong commitment to our advisors, our clients and our culture.”

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