Kenneth Lewis' legacy soon will be in the hands of someone else.

As Bank of America Corp.'s chief executive prepares to walk away, there will be plenty of clucking about the price he paid, literally and figuratively, for Merrill Lynch & Co. But really it will be up to Lewis' yet-to-be-named successor to prove that the tough decisions Lewis made in a time of crisis were the right ones, a fate that hinges on the ability of B of A to integrate the Merrill culture and capitalize on the opportunity to cross-sell financial products to clients.

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