As many of you know, one of the areas that Bank of America has vast room for improvement is in the passing of the Federal Reserve's annual stress test. No major bank has failed as many times as the one in Charlotte and this year it really needs to get it right on the first try, or Brian Moynihan may be out of a job. So, with the stakes higher than ever, Moynihan and Co decided a radical paradigm shift was in order: rather than give the assignment to an employee whose expertise made him or her an obvious choice for the job, why not give the gig to someone in HR?
Ms. Smith, 49 years old, this year is leading Bank of America’s stress-test submission, in which the firm’s credibility with regulators, and possibly Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan’s job, is on the line...Bank of America, the second-largest bank by assets in the U.S., has fumbled the exam three of the past five years, more than any other major U.S. bank. Last year, it was the only U.S. bank required to resubmit its test, and the firm subsequently said it spent $100 million to rework the plan...[Ms. Smith] was in some ways an unusual choice for a test that involves analyzing reams of technical data, given that she has spent the past two decades in human resources. Most of the executives running the test at other large banks come from risk or finance functions.
If the experiment works out though, we can presumably expect more of these switcheroo hiring moves. At first blush, tasking BofA's most socially awkward quant with handling a highly sensitive, internal sexual harassment case might seem strange but it also might prove GENIUS.