David A. Coulter, who resigned as president of BankAmerica Corp. last October, is near an agreement to join Beacon Group, a New York buyout and merger advisory firm, according to published reports.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday that people familiar with Mr. Coulter's plans said he will open a West Coast office for Beacon in San Francisco or Los Angeles. Mr. Coulter and Beacon founder and senior partner Geoffrey Boisi didn't return phone calls.

Mr. Coulter, 52, resigned from BankAmerica now Bank of America Corp. -- shortly after it reported a $372 million loss from a loan to a hedge fund. Mr. Coulter was chairman of the old BankAmerica before its merger in September 1998 with NationsBank Corp., and he was in charge when BankAmerica formed an alliance with the hedge fund, D.E. Shaw & Co. -- Dan Weil

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