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New Bank of America CEO: Smart Bet?

This post by Jill Schlesinger originally appeared on CBS'

I have met future Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan one time in my life - in early 2000. We had lunch in the FleetBoston dining room in Boston to discuss the bank's purchase of my investment advisory firm. It was a pretty easy meeting and frankly, we weren't talking about a particularly large investment for the bank.

At the time of our meeting, FleetBoston was trying to figure out what to do with discount brokerage firm Quick & Reilly, which it acquired in 1998 to help the bank compete with Merrill Lynch. Funny how things change ... or stay the same.

Now Mr. Moynihan has to figure out how to manage a commercial bank, an investment bank and a retail investment distribution network. He no longer has to compete with Merrill, but he does need to integrate that thundering herd into B of A's prized "outsider" culture. It's a tough task for anyone, which is why it took so long to fill the job after Ken Lewis quit.

I've watched Moynihan's career catapult to places that I would have never imagined over the past decade. Therefore, although the market was not particularly impressed with Bank of America's future CEO, I wouldn't necessarily bet against a rugby player from my alma mater either.

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Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.
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