New BOFA CFO Mentions UNC Charlotte and Calculated Opinion on Football

Trying to keep the waters calm on the issue of football… Interesting Charlotte hasn’t approached him yet about increased donations, but whatever… He just stepped into the spotlight recently.

Cool that he’s on the Belk College of Business board:

Bolded items referring to UNC Charlotte:

From: [URL=http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/business/16442133.htm?source=rss&channel=charlotte_business]http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/business/16442133.htm?source=rss&channel=charlotte_business[/URL]

UNCC ALUM DISCUSSES LATEST BOFA ROLE: CFO
[B]‘New chapter,’ familiar author[/B]

[B]RICK ROTHACKER[/B]

[B][COLOR=#0000ff][U]rrothacker@charlotteobserver.com[/U][/COLOR][/B]

[LIST]
[*][URL=http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/business/16445139.htm][U][COLOR=#0000ff]More questions for Joe Price[/COLOR][/U][/URL][/LIST]Meet Joe Price.
The Charlotte native and UNC Charlotte alum is the new chief financial officer at Bank of America Corp., the fourth to hold the key post in less than three years. He assumed the role Jan. 1, following Al de Molina’s surprise resignation announcement last month.

The 45-year-old has held a variety of positions since joining the Charlotte-based bank in 1993. Now he runs the finance department at the nation’s No. 2 bank by assets and is a key face to the Wall Street investment community.

On Jan. 23, he will host his first quarterly earnings call, and he admits to being a “little anxious.” He’s also matter-of-fact about taking over for a longtime colleague who was popular with analysts who follow the bank.

“I hate to see him leave, but new chapter,” said Price, who was previously risk management executive for the corporate and investment bank. “He did a lot of great things and actually laid a lot of groundwork I will be able to continue.”

In an interview in his office on the 58th floor of the Bank of America Corporate Center, he talked this week about his new job, his relationship with Wall Street, his community involvement and his boss, Chairman and Chief Executive Ken Lewis. Questions and comments are edited.

[B]Q. [/B][I]One of Al’s initiatives was to make the company’s financial statements more understandable. What are your plans in that area? [/I]
It wasn’t like Al and I didn’t debate this stuff over the years. So while Al carried the flag for it, a lot of us had involvement. We know this is a great company and our ability to execute is our first and foremost thing. Then our ability to have people understand our success at execution and serving our customers is after that. Al began what will be an evolution. He started driving transparency. With transparency comes added discipline. What I would intend to do is to continue that and try to continue to drive it.

[B]Q. [/B][I]What’s your relationship with Ken, and what’s it like working for him? [/I]
I haven’t worked directly for Ken, obviously, but I’ve worked for him indirectly in various capacities. Ken is a very driven person who wants this place to succeed and has helped it succeed and has no intention of slowing down on that. That in itself creates a pretty motivating environment because he does it through empowerment. He lets us all do our jobs and execute but clearly holds us accountable. You really feed off that commitment he’s got, but you’re free to do your job. Expectations are high but that’s what makes it exciting.

[B]Q. [/B][I]Ken said last month that you were noticed early for your talent and moved around to different jobs. Do you remember when you were tapped for this and what was it like being moved around? [/I]
Every time I thought I was within a year of accomplishing what I wanted to in a role they kind of came. The next role rolled up. What that really represents is that our objective is to always keep people’s learning curves pretty steep and always keep the adrenaline going on that new area. There’s a level of discomfort in some of those areas when you first go in because they’re new, they’re different. But that’s also when we feel people learn the best.

[B]Q. [/B][I]What’s your take on the economy? [/I]
Outside certain pockets that are obviously experiencing some stress, I’m generally positive. Clearly the home-builder segment, some of the auto companies are having more stress than others. In home building, there’s mixed signals whether they have hit the bottom. But mixed signals on whether you hit the bottom is better than knowing you hadn’t.

[B]Q. [/B][I]Can you beat Citigroup in annual earnings this year or down the road? [/I]
I’d probably stay away from comparing numbers on those specifics. Let’s put it this way: We sure would like to outgrow our competitors, and we think we can. And that will lead you to a conclusion on that question.

[B]Q. [/B][I]A lot of employees will be watching Bank of America’s fourth-quarter earnings to see if the company made enough to trigger annual bonuses. What should they expect? [/I]
We’ll update earnings the 23rd. Stay tuned.

[B]Q. [/B][I]One of your predecessors, Jim Hance, was particularly known for his community involvement in Charlotte. How involved will you be? [/I]
I currently spend time with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Bank of America is a big supporter of Habitat across the U.S. and internationally. I would tend to stay involved with those types of things. The new role may back me off for a short period of time, but I won’t lose my passion by any means. [B]I’m also involved with UNC Charlotte. I’m on the advisory board for the business school. I will continue to spend time there.[/B] Any other type of things are simply a balance of time. Clearly, I’ve been active in the past and don’t intend to go away.

[B]Q. [I]UNCC must be pretty proud to have one of its own in such a high-profile job. What kind of feedback have you gotten? [/I][/B]
[B]Lots of congratulations. And the good thing is I haven’t got an additional solicitation yet. (Laughs.) The university has been growing commensurate with the growth of Charlotte, and they’re happy anytime an alumni or friend of the university is more successful. And the good thing is the alumni base is very good at participating and helping them grow.[/B]

[B]Q. [I]What do you think of the effort to start a football program at the school? [/I][/B]
[B]I’m a sports fan, but first and foremost I’m a university and academic fan, so I understand the dilemma.[/B]

[B]Q. [/B][I]How long do you plan to be CFO? [/I]
I intend to help this company succeed, and this is the only place I intend to work, so until retirement. Now whatever role that is, it kind of depends on what the company needs me to do. I have no illusion that I don’t have a full plate in front of me for as far out as I can see.

[B]Joe Price[/B]
[B]• Title: [/B]Chief financial officer.
[B]• Hometown:[/B] Charlotte.
[B]• Age: [/B]45.
[B]• Education: [/B]Bachelor of Science in accounting, UNC Charlotte.
[B]• Career: [/B]Joined Bank of America in 1993 from the accounting firm now known as PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has served as general auditor, president of the consumer finance group, a member of the corporate development team and most recently as risk management executive for the corporate and investment banking division.
[B]• Family: [/B]Wife, Christine; three children.
[B]• Favorite sports teams: [/B]Carolina Panthers and the UNC Charlotte teams.
[B]• Activities outside work: [/B]Family. [I]Q What advice has former Chief Financial Officer Al de Molina given you? [/I]
No different than the advice he gave me over time, which is I think the way we all work: Focus on helping this company succeed, and the job will take care of itself.

[I]Q There has been a good bit of turnover in the CFO post in recent years. How much of a problem has that caused on Wall Street and within the bank? [/I]
I think Ken addressed the concern on it and said he wasn’t happy. But it’s become a new chapter. There’s nothing he or I can do about that, so we’re moving forward. The team that I have inherited had a lot of great successes. Obviously, changes in leadership take a while to get used to. But again, don’t forget I’m not walking in here new. These people I’ve worked with side-by-side, some have worked for me before.

[I]Q How much of your time will be spent communicating with Wall Street? [/I]
This role is really about helping the company succeed. That I would hope would take the predominant share of my time. Having said that, there is no question this role has a big external component. I will try to make sure I push myself to allocate the appropriate amount of time to the external environment, understanding it’s critical for people to understand us and therefore give us credit for what we’re doing. Q

Wow, you would almost think he is a politician with that response to the football question. I like that it was asked though. That is a growing topic and I’m glad to see it finding it’s way into such interviews.

Take a side for the love of God. This would be a nice guy to have in the football corner, but who knows since he can’t answer the question.

Yeah, kudos to the Observer for continuing with the issue…

[QUOTE=NinerATL2CHA;210426]Yeah, kudos to the Observer for continuing with the issue…[/QUOTE]

Yep. I agree.