Charlie Ditkoff: Corporate Leadership at a Financial Institution With Over 100 Years of History

As Vice Chairman of Global Corporate and Investment Banking (GCIB) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), Charlie Ditkoff leads a unit of Bank of America Corporation (BofA) specialized in M&A, high yield securities, corporate financing, and convertible debt transactions.

Currently America’s second largest bank holding corporation, BofA’s history stretches back to the early 20th century, when Amadeo Peter Giannini established San Francisco’s Bank of Italy. Two years after the bank’s founding, the 1906 earthquake struck. Mr. Giannini, securing the bank vaults in a chaotic environment, played a major role in financing the city’s rebuilding efforts. By the time of his death in 1949, Mr. Giannini had built the bank into America’s largest private financial institution through a series of mergers. In the process he revolutionized banking, pioneering services for ordinary citizens such as home mortgages, installment credit, and car loans. He also laid the blueprint for the emergence of nationwide banking, with his strategic concept that a bank operating in multiple regions would be less vulnerable to economic disruption from a specific market. In 1958, the bank achieved another first, issuing the BankAmeriCard, the first bank-issued credit card.

In 1998, the year before Charlie Ditkoff joined BofA, Bank of America suffered substantial losses due to the Russian bond default and was acquired by NationsBank. In the process, the merged entity shifted its corporate headquarters from San Francisco to Charlotte, North Carolina, where it remains today. BofA has since grown significantly through targeted mergers and acquisitions involving institutions such as FleetBoston Financial, MBNA, and LaSalle Bank Corporation. In 2008, BofA acquired Merrill Lynch for $50 billion, allowing the firm to establish a dynamic international investment brokerage presence.