Chairman and Chief Executive Brian Moynihan’s combined roles under pressure by shareholders…

Investors press for broader changes to company’s board as contentious shareholder vote approaches on Brian Moynihan’s combined roles.

A growing number of Bank of America Corp. investors are pressing for broader changes to the company’s board as a contentious shareholder vote approaches on Chairman and Chief Executive Brian Moynihan’s combined roles.

With the Sept. 22 vote about a week away, several large shareholders have pressed for changes to the bank’s board beyond the question of whether Mr. Moynihan should continue to serve in both roles.

Some investors would like the longest-tenured directors on the board to leave. Others would rather see more financial experts or new blood on the board’s governance committee, which led the controversial decision last year to combine the CEO and chairman roles under Mr. Moynihan despite a 2009 shareholder vote to separate those positions. 

The way Bank of America’s directors handled that process “indicates that they need to get fresh eyes,” said Jonas Kron, who runs shareholder engagement at Trillium Asset Management. Trillium, which often favors separate chairmen and CEOs at its holdings, voted its 400,000 shares against the bank’s proposal, which asks for shareholders’ blessing to let directors structure the roles as they see fit.

Korea Investment Corp., South Korea’s sovereign-wealth fund and a top-20 shareholder of Bank of America according to FactSet, also plans to vote against the proposal, in part due to concerns about the bank’s recent dividends and a share price that has trailed peers, a person familiar with the $85 billion fund said. Bank of America’s share price is down about 10% so far this year, compared with a 4% decline in the KBW Bank Index.

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