For the second time in four years, veteran banker Eugene McQuade is opting not to forge a career at Bank of America Corp. after it buys his current employer.

Mr. McQuade, 62, the head of banking at Merrill Lynch & Co., is to leave Bank of America next spring, a Merrill spokeswoman said. He joined Merrill in February after resigning from Freddie Mac the previous fall. Mr. McQuade had been heir apparent for the CEO's job.

In 2004, he left Bank of America after the Charlotte company bought FleetBoston Financial Corp., where he had been the president.

Last week a Merrill spokeswoman said Mr. McQuade was unavailable to comment.

His planned departure was one of several Bank of America management changes announced in an internal memo. B of A's Keith Banks is to oversee Columbia Asset Management, U.S. Trust private banking, and alternative investments. A B of A spokesman said that Frances Aldrich Sevilla-Sacasa, who oversees the U.S. Trust operation, is leaving to pursue other interests.

Robert McCann, a Merrill Lynch executive, is to oversee B of A's financial advisers. He and Mr. Banks will report to John Thain, Merrill's chairman and chief executive, who has been named to head wealth management and corporate and investment banking at B of A. Shareholders of both companies will vote on the acquisition Dec. 5.

On Wednesday the Federal Reserve approved the deal, noting that buying Merrill would give Bank of America 11.9% of the nation's deposits, up from 10.8%. Bank of America would remain the largest depository institution in the United States. In approving the deal, the Fed said that, after discussions with the Department of Justice, it concluded that "consummation of the transaction would not likely have a significantly adverse effect on competition in any relevant banking market or in any relevant market."

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