Bank of America Corp. is mounting a campaign to rehire several of the more than three dozen senior Merrill Lynch & Co. investment bankers who quit after the firms merged, said people familiar with the efforts.

Those approached in recent weeks include Samuel Chapin, 52, a former Merrill vice chairman who left in April, the people said.

Brian Moynihan, 49, who runs the combined firm's investment bank and retail brokerage, is overseeing the effort while also promoting Merrill Lynch veterans still at the firm.

Bank of America is digesting a merger that added one of the biggest stock underwriters and takeover advisers. The Charlotte banking company is pushing to retain investment bankers while at the same time facing government pressure to rein in compensation after a $45 billion bailout.

"We are going to be aggressive in the talent we attract, and we feel very good about the people we're attracting and retaining," said Jessica Oppenheim, a Bank of America spokeswoman. She declined to elaborate.

Since June, Moynihan has given promotions to three Merrill Lynch veterans who remain at the firm, allowing them to report directly to him. Fares Noujaim and Harry McMahon both got the titles of executive vice chairman, and Steven Baronoff became chairman of mergers and acquisitions. Stefan Selig, one of the top Bank of America veterans, also became an executive vice chairman.

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