Bank of America has reorganized its personal retirement solutions business into five areas, according to an internal memo released late Jan. 20.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to organize our business and capabilities around client needs and better align with our 2011 strategic growth plans, we are restructuring personal retirement solutions (PRS) into five areas of focus to be led by members of the newly named PRS leadership team," David Tyrie, the head of Bank of America's personal retirement solutions unit, said in the memo.

Surya Kolluri will lead the retirement channel management, which will ensure products are "effectively marketed and delivered to clients through key partners across [BofA's global wealth and investment management business] and the broader enterprise, including Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, U.S. Trust, Merrill Edge (see side bar) and the consumer bank," Tyrie said.

Kolluri will also lead a team responsible for the development and execution of BofA's Workplace Wealth business.

Chuck Toth will head retirement product management, which is responsible for development and ongoing management of BofA's retirement planning and college savings products and services. In addition to IRAs and rollovers, wealth transfer and college 529 plans, the retirement product management team will also be responsible for retirement income solutions.

Doug Comer will run the participant education and communication team. This group will be responsible for participant communication, including campaigns, platform analytics, educational programs and collateral. This team will focus on connecting participants with BofA's other financial solutions.

The bank added Evelyn Varner later in January to run a new initiative called interactive platform management, which will "drive the overall strategy for the online experience of all [personal retirement solutions] clients, including the management of and content development for the Benefits Online platform."

Interactive platform management will also serve as the research and development arm of personal retirement solutions.

The investment side of the business is a much-needed success story for the bank. Despite a difficult quarter, Merrill Lynch reported that total client assets rose 6% to $1.58 trillion as revenue rose 13% to $3.55 billion from a year earlier.

In the fourth quarter, Merrill added 22 advisors from the previous quarter to give it 15,498. This marked its sixth consecutive quarter of advisor growth. Merrill has increased its advisor force 2% since the end of 2009.

Despite strong results from the investment side of its business, BofA reported a fourth-quarter loss due to hefty charges related to its real estate assets.

The Charlotte, N.C., financial services company posted a net loss of $1.24 billion, or 16 cents per share. The loss included a previously announced goodwill-impairment charge of $2 billion related to its home loans and insurance business. Without that charge, BofA would have posted a profit of $756 million.

By comparison, the company recorded a net loss of $194 million. "Our results reflect the progress we are making at putting legacy-primarily mortgage-related-issues behind us," Brian Moynihan, BofA's chief executive officer, said in a press release.

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