Bank of America/Merrill Lynch: Corporate Associate of the Month

February 08, 2019

By Rony Shir

Making financial lives better for individuals and organizations through the power of every connection: That is the mission of Bank of America. In 2009, the bank acquired Merrill Lynch, a merger that created a premier financial services franchise with significantly enhanced wealth management, investment banking, international capabilities along with its vast consumer banking footprint.

Charles Alston headshotCharles Alston, market executive of Healthcare, Education and Not for Profit in Global Commercial Banking, has been with the company for 18 years. “The rate of change is exponential. With the rise of digital and mobile banking, the client experience has become seamless,” Alston explains. This extends to the students of the University of Miami.  Students have access to Bank of America ATMs and can easily open accounts on campus with access to bank programs, such as Cash Rewards. Charles enjoys visiting the Miami Business School and has expressed admiration in the innovative direction and leadership style of Dean John Quelch. Alston is a member of the School’s Health Care Advisory Board and this year agreed to serve as Chairman.

“Diversity and inclusion are very important to Bank of America,” Alston said. “One of the challenges companies face is ensuring a diverse culture that allows collaboration and cohesiveness. The caliber of your team will make a big difference. We are proud to have hired nearly 130 alumni of the Miami Business School. The students’ integrity, knowledge and vision add to our competitive advantage as an organization.” The bank is one of the top recruitment companies for MBS.

Gene Schaefer headshostGene Schaefer, an Alumnus of the Business School (BBA ’88), now serves as co-head of the Southeast Region for Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Miami market president for Bank of America. “I joined the bank 29 years ago, right after graduating from the University of Miami Business School,” he said.  “In my current role, I lead a team of commercial bankers who deliver integrated financial solutions to companies and institutions. I also work with our different lines of business within the company so that customers and clients get the benefit of everything we have to offer them and guide our efforts to be a model corporate citizen.”

When asked what qualities he looks for when making new hires Schaefer explains, “Today technology and finance are very relevant to our industry. I also look for candidates who are adaptable, persistent, resilient and comfortable working in a constantly changing environment. This is very important as change is inevitable. I think the Miami Business School is doing a great job grooming students to be great employees and future leaders.” Schaefer also highlights the Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series, now known as Southern Glazer’s Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series. “The quality of the speakers in the series is great,” he said. “It’s beneficial for students to learn from the experience of the keynote speakers.”

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is also a sponsor of the Health Care Conference, hosted annually by Miami Business School’s Health Care Department. The conference attracts over 700 attendees comprised of alumni, C-level Health Care executives and a select group of MBS students. The bank is a Silver Member  of the Corporate Associates Program that includes 58 global and local businesses that have built long-term strategic relationships with MBS. The vision of the Corporate Associates Program is to shape the corporate community and contribute to the prosperity of our corporate members by providing access to top-tier students, innovative programs, and thought leadership. For more information, please click here

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