Remembering Bank of America’s Jim Mahoney

Mahoney helped to guide the bank through the Great Recession.

Mahoney at a 2016 Washington Post Summit. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Mahoney at a 2016 Washington Post Summit. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

BOSTON: Bank of America public policy and communications executive Jim Mahoney died on Saturday at age 67 from health issues resulting from injuries incurred in a bicycle accident in Weston, Massachusetts, a year ago. 

He is survived by his wife, three children and seven siblings.

Mahoney worked at Bank of America for 15 years, and prior to that at FleetBoston Financial, which Bank of America acquired in 2004, for nearly 10 years. 

Mahoney helped to guide the bank through the Great Recession and the criticism it and the rest of the financial industry faced after receiving help from the Federal Government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.

“In the ways that Jim has helped improve our corporate reputation as we transformed the company following the economic and financial crisis, and in the vision he showed by getting us to focus early on important issues that others eventually followed, he has earned a place in the Bank of America hall of fame,” said the bank’s chair and CEO, Brian Moynihan, in a statement after Mahoney’s passing.

Anne Finucane, then Bank of America’s global chief strategy and marketing officer, praised Mahoney as he was named to PRWeek’s Power List in 2015, saying his “combination of skills and style, including his keen wit, creates a terrific mix of intellectual authority with an unpretentious approach.”

Prior to FleetBoston Financial, Mahoney was secretary of the Federal Reserve for the Bank of Boston and district director for Rep. Joseph Kennedy II (D-MA). 

Mahoney spoke about the comms lessons he learned during TARP in a 2012 PRWeek profile and he also shared them in a 2015 interview

“If you have established a story line or narrative where people understand what the company does, then when individual events take place, one-off-type of events, there’s a context in which people put that,” Mahoney said five years ago. “And it’s more easily understood, it’s more explainable and frequently it’s more forgiving because people realize it’s in the broader context of what the company is doing.” 

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