Bank of America Corp.'s chairman and chief executive Kenneth Lewis has told Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. brokers that their chief executive, John Thain, would remain after the companies' merger is completed, according to people familiar with the situation.

On Sept. 14, Bank of America agreed to buy Merrill Lynch for $50 billion, or $29 a share. At a Sept. 15 press conference to announce the deal, Mr. Thain said he and Mr. Lewis "haven't had much time to talk about my role going forward," and he declined to specify whether he would join the post-merger company.

Mr. Lewis, who met Wednesday with top Merrill advisers in Arizona, said Mr. Thain is staying but that his role has not been determined. It also is unclear how long Mr. Thain will stay, said people familiar with the situation.

Scott Silvestri, a spokesman for Bank of America, said, "We have nothing to announce at this point."

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