Finucane Takes BofA Marketing Reins

BOSTON Bank of America said it has named executive vice president Anne Finucane to lead global marketing and corporate affairs.

She succeeds Cathy Bessant, who has helmed marketing since 2002, and now takes over for the retiring Tim Arnoult as head of BofA’s global treasury services.

Advertising, brand management and sponsorships will now report to Finucane, who retains her responsibilities for corporate communications, public policy, corporate philanthropy and the bank’s network of local-market presidents.

Bessant was a key decision maker in last year’s $600 million BofA marketing review that saw a team of shops from Omnicom Group unseat agencies from Interpublic Group.

Bruce Nelson, the executive who ran BofA at IPG, left in August after the client contacted rival holding companies about the business. At the time, Nelson attributed his split with IPG to disagreements about how to manage the account. Nelson last week joined Omnicom as vice chairman, but he will not work on BofA.

Finucane is a former executive at IPG’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos here. That agency had worked on the FleetBoston account prior to its absorption by BofA.

Susan Smith Ellis, another former Hill, Holliday executive (who once worked at the shop with Finucane), now runs the BofA business at Omnicom.

“Cathy has done a tremendous job over the past several years building our company’s brand and a world-class marketing function to support all our businesses and customers,” said Liam McGee, president of BofA global consumer and small-business banking, in a statement. “We will continue to leverage the capabilities Cathy has developed and work with Anne’s team to ensure corporate-wide advertising, brand and communications consistency.”