Bank of America Corp. said vice chairman William McDonough will retire at year's end, as the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York leaves nearly four years after joining Merrill Lynch.

The banking giant acquired Merrill a year ago at the height of the financial crisis.

McDonough, 75 years old, joined the brokerage as vice chairman and special adviser to the chairman and continued in those roles after the Bank of America deal. The company said Wednesday that McDonough, also a former chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, advised senior management and was actively involved in business development efforts with governments and financial institutions around the world.

"Bill McDonough has been at the pinnacle of the financial services industry for decades," said Chief Executive Ken Lewis.

Lewis is also slated to retire at the end of the month but his departure could be delayed as Bank of America's board has yet to name a successor.

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