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Bank of America Reorganizes Wealth Management Alternative Investments Group

Nancy Fahmy will head the new unit created from the merger of the Specialty Asset Management and Alternative Investments groups.

Bank of America is reorganizing part of its Global Wealth and Investment Management, or GWIM, team that oversees alternative investments for Merrill Lynch, U.S. Trust and other wealth management channels.

The bank said on Tuesday it is combining its Specialty Asset Management and Alternative Investments groups and named Nancy Fahmy the new head of the combined unit that will have an aggregate of $63 billion in assets under management.

Specialty Asset Management, a “growth driver” for the organization for years, according to the bank, assists clients in managing timber, farm and ranch land, oil, gas and mineral interests, real estate and private businesses. GWIM’s Alternative Investments services and offers clients access to hedge funds, private equity, real estate, precious metals and non-traditional mutual funds.

Fahmy will report directly to Keith Banks, the vice chairman of GWIM and the head of its Chief Investment Office and Investment Solutions Group.

Fahmy was previously the head of GWIM’s Capital Markets and its Alternative Investments group, which oversaw the majority of the newly formed unit’s assets ($49 billion). A new Capital Markets head will be named in the future. Keith Glenfield, head of GWIM’s Investment Solutions Group, Fahmy’s prior boss, will fill her role in the interim.

Banks said combining the two groups creates synergies from a management perspective but that the change was also driven with investors in mind. Since GWIM has clients with accounts across different channels of wealth management, having a more contiguous approach to alternative investments will benefit clients, he said. For example, there are clients who work with a Merrill Lynch advisor who might also have a Merrill Edge brokerage account and their alternative investments across those accounts should, essentially, be on the same page.

“We want to make sure we are presenting our clients the most robust set of capabilities possible,” Banks said. “I think [in] the end our clients will benefit.”

GWIM and its central investment office services Merrill Lynch Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, the Private Banking and Investment Group, and U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.

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