Bank of America has carved out its Austin-area operations as a new, distinct division and has named longtime regional executive Nikki Salzillo as president of the market, company officials said this week.
The bank’s local leaders told employees and key customers about the realignment and Salzillo’s promotion on Wednesday and Thursday and said they planned to issue a public announcement Friday.
Previously, the bank operated a single Central and South Texas market, which included both the Austin and San Antonio metro areas. Kenny Wilson, who oversaw that region, will remain president of the San Antonio market and will continue to lead the bank’s U.S. Trust wealth-management business in both cities.
“Austin is a vibrant city that’s growing and getting a lot of attention,” Wilson said. “It’s a great business opportunity for Bank of America and others … and we’re highlighting that importance to us by naming someone specifically for Austin.”
Salzillo’s promotion extends her rise up the ranks at Bank of America, where she started in 1994 as a personal banker. She has worked in retail banking, change management, marketing and local market delivery.
She moved to the Central and South Texas region nine years ago to help lead its regional philanthropic and community-development efforts. As market president, she will continue that work while overseeing and coordinating the bank’s various lines of business and its 600-plus Austin-area employees.
“Nikki’s breadth of experience at the company as well as her work in the Austin community for the past nine years will benefit our customers and our nonprofit partners as she takes on this important leadership role,” Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said in a statement.
In an interview Wednesday, Salzillo and Wilson both credited Austin’s ongoing growth and business vibrancy as reasons to form a separate market and create the new leadership role to oversee activity here.
By doing so, Salzillo said, Bank of America’s local teams will be able to tap into the company’s wide-ranging resources and coordinate and customize them for the Austin market.
“Especially when you have a growing affluent group and a lot of small businesses, it’s absolutely imperative that all the resources are aligned to meet those needs,” she said.
Salzillo will continue to serve on the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, where she helps lead several of the company’s national philanthropy programs. And she will continue her oversight of the bank’s philanthropic work in Austin.
“She was my first pick,” Wilson said. “She’s got great experience in the bank and in the community. She really has a heart for what goes on in the community, particularly in the nonprofit world and is a great leader and participant in those issues.”
Salzillo serves on the boards at the Austin Community Design and Development Center and at Communities in Schools of Central Texas.
Previously, Salzillo helped coordinate a grant with the Center for Public Policy Priorities and other groups to create a college savings guide for students and families, said Don Baylor, the center’s senior policy analyst.
That program, designed to help keep families in the financial mainstream, continues today, Baylor said.
“She’s part of a group of professionals at financial institutions that have engaged with nonprofits about expanding economic opportunities,” he said. “They’re not just about financial services. They’re also very forward thinking about workforce development and education.”