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Due Diligence

Krawcheck Reincarnated as Gold Bug: Joins Heavyweights on Gold Bullion Board

Sallie Krawcheck, aka “Mrs. Clean,” is kicking off the next chapter of her long career in the wealth management industry with a position on the star-studded advisory board of Gold Bullion International, an investment platform for precious metals assets.

Krawcheck, who most recently headed up Bank of America’s wealth management group, joins a couple of other heavyweights on the board: former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt and Gen. Wesley K. Clark, as well as senior management director and member of the investment committee at Tocqueville Asset Management, and Dan Tapiero, who managed a global macro portfolio at SAC Capital.

GBI wants Krawcheck to help it expand in the wealth management business where she has long been a fixture. She is popular in the financial advisor community, despite (or perhaps because of) being booted from many of her jobs on Wall Street. She was ousted from Bank of America last September—or rather she was offered a demotion and decided not to take it—a move that led to an outcry of support in the industry. Some speculated at the time that she took too many pains to defend the financial advisors she oversaw from Bank of America’s efforts to push cross-selling. Just a year and a half earlier, rumors swirled that Krawcheck was about to be canned for, again, defending advisors. But when she was hired in August of 2009 some saw her as potential successor to then CEO of Bank of America Ken Lewis.

Before Bank of America, Krawcheck was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Citi Global Wealth Management, a role she assumed twice, with a stint as Citi’s Chief Financial officer sandwiched in between. We wrote about Krawcheck’s return to Citi Wealth Management from her CFO role back in March of 2007. She has been named to the Forbes “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list six times and Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” five times.

“Sallie will provide valuable insight as we further expand GBI’s presence in the wealth management and investment communities,” said Savneet Singh, GBI’s Chief Executive Officer, in a press release. “Our company’s technology platform enables clients to acquire and manage their precious metals assets directly through GBI or through their own wealth management accounts.”

Gold prices have been on a tear for most of the past decade, and many have asked whether the precious metal isn’t looking a little bit too precious. Last August, gold prices reached an all-time high, and GLD, a gold ETF, surpassed SPY, an ETF tracking the S&P 500, to became the largest ETF in the ETF universe. Prices have faltered since then but haven’t come down substantially.

GBI’s platform allows clients to acquire and manage their precious metals assets directly through GBI or through their existing wealth management accounts. Precious metals are acquired from London Bullion Market Association approved dealers and stored on behalf of clients in protected and insured vaults in New York, Salt Lake City, London and Zurich.

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