Bank of America's Lisa Carnoy, one of Wall Street's highest-ranking women, is moving from head of the global capital-markets division to an executive role in the U.S. Trust wealth-management unit.

Carnoy, 46, started as a Merrill Lynch associate and rose during two decades to run businesses that underwrite stock and bond sales, a job she held since 2012. Now she'll manage the Northeast operations of U.S. Trust and join the parent company's operating committee, according to a memo to employees yesterday from Christian Meissner, 45, who oversees global corporate and investment banking.

The move takes Carnoy from a key role in the investment bank to become one of four geographic leaders at U.S. Trust, where revenue is dwarfed by the bigger Merrill Lynch wealth- management business. U.S. Trust, a private bank with roots that predate the Civil War, posted $768 million in first-quarter revenue, one-fifth that of Merrill Lynch.

"I would look at this as a career-broadening move for her, and probably not her last," said Nancy Bush, a bank analyst who founded NAB Research LLC in New Jersey. "Wealth management is an important business for banks, with fat profit margins."

Carnoy changed jobs in part to gain retail experience, according to a person familiar with her thinking who asked not to be identified because the deliberations were private. Reuters reported the move yesterday.

As a veteran of the investment bank, Carnoy will be responsible for selling wealth-management services to her former global banking and markets colleagues, according to a separate memo yesterday from Keith Banks, U.S. Trust president. The initiative is a twist on cross selling, where banks seek to sell more services to existing customers.

Bank of America is the second-largest U.S. lender by assets. The U.S. Trust unit, acquired from Charles Schwab Corp. in 2006, helps clients with investment management, wealth structuring, credit and banking services. It specializes in managing trusts, which typically are set up by wealthy families or institutions to handle assets for children or charities.

Carnoy oversaw equity capital markets, investment grade debt capital markets, leveraged finance and the origination of corporate derivatives and foreign exchange products. She was previously global head of equity capital markets.

Jim Probert, head of investment-grade debt capital markets in the Americas since 2010, will take over for Carnoy as head of global capital markets. Probert joined Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America in 1994 as London-based head of European investment-grade syndication.

Brendan Hanley and Andrew R. Karp were named co-heads of investment-grade capital markets in the Americas, according to Meissner's memo.

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