In one fell swoop, Bank of America changed the face of its wealth management leadership when it announced the departure of the unit's top executive Sallie Krawcheck, a move that some observers say, may actually point to a deeper commitment to Merrill Lynch.

David C. Darnell, head of commercial banking, will now serve as co-chief operating officer for wealth management and other businesses directly affecting individual investors, according to the company. The press statement said that Darnell will oversee operations that include deposit, card, home mortgage, wealth management, small business, and related products and services.

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