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Bank of America plans international advisory board: sources

By Rick Rothacker

Charlotte, North Carolina (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp is looking to create an international advisory board that could help steer chief executive officer Brian Moynihan's overseas strategy, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The panel, which is in an early stage of development, would be similar to the international council at JPMorgan Chase & Co , the sources said. That group is led by former British prime minister, Tony Blair.

In the past two years, Moynihan has shed investments in foreign banks such as China Construction Bank Corp <0939.HK> <601939.SS>, to build capital, even as the second largest U.S. bank has continued to expand international corporate banking and capital markets operations.

Unlike predecessor Ken Lewis, Moynihan has made a point of attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in his first two years as CEO of the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank.

Bank of America's non-U.S. revenue climbed to $19.6 billion in 2011, up from $15.1 billion a year earlier, but overseas income still only comprised about 21 percent of the company's total, according to the bank's annual report.

The bank's European operations suffered a blow last week when former Merrill Lynch dealmaker Andrea Orcel departed for a post at Swiss bank UBS .

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that Bank of America's advisory panel could have 10 to 15 members with backgrounds ranging from politics to securities regulation.

The Journal also reported on Tuesday that the bank is conducting a search for several new members for its corporate board of directors. Five of the bank's 13 directors are at least 70 or will turn 70 this year, the Journal said.

As recently as its 2010 proxy filing, the bank has said it is a "general policy" of the board not to nominate directors for re-election if they have reached the age of 72, although it can do so if it is in the "best interest" of shareholders. The 2011 proxy did not address the topic.

Director Virgis Colbert is 72, but the bank has asked him to remain on the board, the Journal reported. The bank is expected to file its 2012 proxy filing as early as this week, which will include the slate of directors to be voted on at the May 9 annual shareholder meeting.

(Reporting By Rick Rothacker; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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