Steven Alch distinguishes between his position as local head of Merrill Lynch and his new job as local market president of Bank of America by calling one his day job. The other job he does in whatever spare time remains.
But for Mr. Alch, the added responsibilities won't slow him down a bit.
"It an exciting unique opportunity," he said. "It gives me a good opportunity to really understand the depth of Bank of America's resources."
In September of last year, Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch and began merging the two to create the bank's investment banking and wealth management division. Mr. Alch's new position is a result of the merger.
He formerly served as the Tennessee Valley Complex director for Merrill Lynch, managing advisers from eastern Tennessee and northern Alabama.
The role of market president will mean he work to grow the bank in the region and lead a team of employees at Bank of America's six local branches and its one Merrill Lynch office. He will oversee the Bank of America's philanthropic grants, community development lending and community activities.
"We are excited to have a proven leader stepping into this critical position," said John Stein, Bank of America president, in a statement. "We believe Chattanooga will continue to emerge as a premier southern city as indicated by recent economic development and national recognition."
Mr. Alch, 39, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and received an MBA from the University of Tennessee. The Baton Rouge, La., native moved with his wife, Kim, and their three daughters to Chattanooga in 2007, when he was promoted to his position with Merrill Lynch.
The merger between BofA and Merrill Lynch resulted in a surprising realization for him. Until then he had always wondered what Bank of America people were like, and once the companies become one, he realized very quickly how much he had in common with them.
"What I have found, Bank of America people are just like Merrill Lynch people; they are good upstanding people," Mr. Alch said. "It's very interesting, there's a lot more similarities than differences."