Since it was James Bolam's role as Ken Lewis that led to my discovery of "The Last Of The Lehman Brothers", we'll kick off this special week of ASOTV with him.....
AS SEEN IN:
"The Last Of The Lehman Brothers"
AS PLAYED BY:
Kenneth D. "Ken" Lewis (born April 9, 1947) is the former CEO, President, and Chairman of Bank of America, the largest bank in the United States and second largest in the world. On September 30th, 2009 Bank of America confirmed that Ken Lewis would be retiring by the end of the year. He was replaced by Brian Moynihan as President and CEO and Walter Massey as Chairman of the Board.
During the financial crisis of 2008, he engineered the takeover of Merrill Lynch for $50 billion.
On April 29, 2009, Bank of America shareholders narrowly voted to separate the positions of Chairman of the Board and CEO, effectively removing CEO Lewis from his position as Chairman of the Board of BofA, though he remained both the bank's president and its CEO.
On September 30, 2009, Lewis announced his retirement from Bank of America effective as of December 31, 2009. Lewis released the statement "The Merrill Lynch and Countrywide integrations are on track and returning value already. Our board of directors and our senior management include more talent, and more diversity of talent, than at any time in this company's history. We are in position to begin to repay the federal government's TARP investments. For these reasons, I decided now is the time to begin to transition to the next generation of leadership at Bank of America." It was reported that this move was his own decision and that he did not receive pressure from the bank's Board of Directors.
Based on the company's most recent proxy statement, his full pension benefits total $53 million. Critics of the financial sector's salary scale have cited this sum as indicative of poor oversight by the board of directors and as an example of inflated executive compensation. As his plan dates back more than seven years, he is still entitled to full benefits. Bank of America has since revised their compensation plan for retiring executives.
In October, 2009, at the suggestion of Kenneth Feinberg, the U.S. Treasury's special master for compensation, Lewis decided to forgo salary or bonus in 2009. His 2008 salary was about $1.5 million. "He has taken home $148.8 million from cash and stock sales since taking over the bank in 2001, according to Equilar, a compensation research firm. He is also leaving with more than $135 million in retirement benefits, including the pension and $10 million in life insurance benefits, according to an analysis of corporate filings by James F. Reda & Associates, an independent consulting firm."
The role of Ken Lewis must have been considered insignificant to the casting directors for "Too Big To Fail"; it was given to a relatively unknown actor named Robert Vincent Smith. (Which is not a slap against his acting talents, just his reputation......)