10 Things You Didn’t Know about Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan

Brian Moynihan is both the Chairman and the CEO of Bank of America. To some people, he is best-known for the streamlining of Bank of America in the wake of the Great Recession, which has put the financial institution on a much more solid foundation. However, others might be more familiar with him because of the criticism that has been levied against him. Whatever the case, there can be no doubt about the fact that Moynihan is one of the most influential figures in the financial sector. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Brian Moynihan:

1. His Personal Name Means “High”

When used as a personal name, Brian is both Irish and Breton in origin. It is old enough that no one is sure of its meaning, but the most popular line of speculation is that it means something along the lines “high,” “noble,” or “exalted.” Brian is a very popular name in Ireland, not least because of the celebrated Brian Boru.

2. Moynihan Is a Place-Based Name

Moynihan comes from Ó Muimhneacháin, which means a male individual who had a Munsterman for an ancestor at some point in his family tree. Of course, Munsterman refers to a person from the Irish region of Munster. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Moynihan is a family name that sees widespread use in the counties of Cork and Kerry, which fall into said region.

3. Born in Marietta, OH

It is interesting to note that Moynihan was born in the city of Marietta, which can be found in Ohio’s Washington County. There are a number of things that cause said city to stand out, with examples ranging from how it was the first permanent U.S. settlement in the Northwest Territory to how it was one of the stations on the famous Underground Railroad.

4. Studied at Brown University

Initially, Moynihan studied at Brown University. Interestingly, he majored in history, which isn’t exactly what would come to mind for most people considering his current career. On top of that, Moynihan was actually the co-captain of the rugby team as well.

5. Studied at University of Notre Dame

Later, Moynihan studied for a Juris Doctor at the University of Notre Dame, which is situated in the state of Indiana. Suffice to say that Notre Dame’s Law School is one of the best in the United States, so it should come as no surprise to learn that Moynihan went on to become a lawyer.

6. Went into Banking

Eventually, Moynihan went to work as a lawyer in the financial sector. As a result, he acquired both expertise and experience in a number of positions at a number of banks, which enabled him to climb higher and higher on the corporate hierarchy.

7. Joined Bank of America Via Merger

Moynihan started working at Bank of America because of a merger. In short, what happened was that Moynihan was an executive at FleetBoston Financial, which winded up merging with Bank of America in 2004. As a result, he became an executive at Bank of America as well, having been put in charge of global wealth and investment management.

8. Went through Some Changes Because of the Great Recession

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Moynihan went through some rather significant changes because of the Great Recession. For example, he was put in charge of Merrill Lynch when Bank of America bought it in 2008. However, that didn’t last long because he was the one who succeeded the previous CEO of Bank of America when said individual stepped down in 2010.

9. His Credibility Was Called into Question in 2011

In 2011, Moynihan accepted $5 billion in capital from Warren Buffet. This would’ve been fine if he hadn’t been insistent that Bank of America didn’t need an infusion of capital. Considering the trust issues that were running rampant in the wake of the Great Recession, it is no wonder that a lot of traders called Moynihan’s credibility into question, though that has been remedied to some extent.

10. One of the Bank Executives Targeted By Bernie Sanders

In 2012, Moynihan was one of the CEOs who were criticized by Senator Bernie Sanders, who was taking aim at what he called “corporate tax dodgers.” Essentially, Sanders was displeased that Bank of America didn’t just pay no income tax but also received $1.9 billion in a tax refund for 2010 even though said corporation had made $4.4 billion in profit in that same year.


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