Bank of America Corp. chairman and chief executive Kenneth D. Lewis is facing ever-growing opposition in advance of the company's April 29 annual meeting.
Risk Metrics/ISS Governance Services and Glass Lewis on Friday urged shareholders to vote against new board terms for Lewis and the lead independent director, O. Temple Sloan. ISS also recommended voting against every member of the $2.5 trillion-asset Charlotte company's asset quality committee. The recommendations came a day after another proxy adviser, Proxy Governance, backed a shareholder proposal that would strip Lewis of the chairman title.
The firms took issue with B of A's purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. and its reluctance to disclose massive losses at the New York investment bank before shareholders met in December to approve the deal.
The bank also faces challenges from a dissident shareholder and a band of unions that have long been displeased with the company.
Spokesman Scott Silvestri said B of A disagrees with the "substance and the viewpoint" of the ISS report. "We believe we have acted legally and appropriately in our disclosures around the Merrill Lynch acquisition and that the acquisition will ultimately create value for Bank of America shareholders," he said. On the Glass Lewis report, he said B of A is "disappointed in their conclusions" and that company representatives continue to "discuss our reasoning with large shareholders."