Coaching the CEOs

Another recently retired bank chief executive officer has decided to educate future leaders.Jerry Baker, who retired as vice chairman and CEO of First Horizon National Corp. last year, has become an executive coach for Building Champions Inc.

The Lake Oswego, Ore., company said Baker would create a tailored program to instruct other CEOs.

Efforts to reach Baker for comment were unsuccessful.

Last month John Allison, the former CEO at BB&T Corp. in Winston-Salem, N.C., said he would be joining the faculty at Wake Forest University's business school. He is set to enter the classroom this fall.

Retiring Later

Gerald H. Lipkin will remain at the helm of Valley National Bancorp in Wayne, N.J., at least through much of the next decade.The $14.7 billion-asset company's board of directors has pushed back the mandatory retirement date for Lipkin, who is currently 68, to 2016.

The chairman, president and CEO was scheduled to retire when he turned 70.

"Gerry's performance with Valley over the past 34 years has been exceptional, and there was unanimous support by the directors," Andrew Abramson, the chairman of the Valley National's audit and risk committee, and Gerald Korde, the chairman of its compensation and human resources committee, said in a press release issued Wednesday.

End of an Era

In another sign of changing times, Bank of America Corp. announced that it will no longer host a major conference in San Francisco.Louise Hennessy, a spokeswoman for the Charlotte company, attributed its decision to discontinue multi-industry conferences to the integration of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. and overall expense control.

The September conference had been an annual mainstay for 38 years, predating NationsBank Corp.'s purchase of BankAmerica Corp., and had been held at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco in recent years.

Instead, B of A will rely more on industry-specific conferences, Hennessy said.

"Our program also includes new events, such as the clean-technology conference that was hosted in New York last month," the spokeswoman said.

Incidentally, one of the San Francisco conference's most awkward moments came in 2007, when an environmentalist group infiltrated the event and managed to put Joe Price, B of A's chief financial officer, on the hot seat over his company's policies.

A member of the Rainforest Action Network was allowed to ask a question and a follow-up before being escorted from the conference.

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