Former BofA CEO Starts Own I-Bank –

Having officially left his position as chairman and chief executive officer of Bank of America, Hugh McColl Jr. is nowhere near retirement in the actual sense of the word. The 66-year-old recently launched his own M&A advisory firm and has plans to enter the private equity arena in the next few months.

McColl said he casually mentioned his interest in starting an advisory firm, or possibly doing some consulting work, at a cocktail party a few months ago. “Next thing I know, I’m talking to David Vorhoff about forming a partnership together and he’s introducing me to Eric Andreozzi,” McColl added.

Thus, McColl Partners, located in Charlotte, came into being. With McColl at the helm, McColl Partners consists mainly of investment bankers. A few of the key players include Vorhoff, a managing director, who worked with Bank of America Securities’ health-care group; Andreozzi, a managing director, who worked with Bowles Hollowell Conner/First Union Securities as head of packaging and forest products M&A; and Philip Colaco and Lorin DeMordaunt, both vice presidents formerly with Bowles Hollowell Conner/First Union Securities.

The firm is focusing on providing advice to middle-market companies -with sales at or under $250 million – in the financial services, health-care, technology and manufacturing industries.

With 42 years of experience in banking under his belt, McColl said he knows what it takes to make transactions happen, understand buyer needs and expectations, acquire companies and build through acquisitions all skills he can transfer from banking to investment banking. During his tenure at Bank of America, McColl is known for the bank’s growth to its peak of $800 billion in 2000 from $12 billion in 1983, completing more than 100 mergers and acquisitions during his career. Industry observers have thus pointed out that McColls’s contact list having been in business for so many years – will perhaps be his most valuable asset.

Moving from CEO of a huge bank, to retirement and now into a private company, McColl said his life has changed dramatically since the spring (when he retired from BofA).

“I no longer have the pressure of being associated with a large, public company,” he said. “And honestly, I had had enough of that.”

However, McColl said he’s as busy as ever it’s just a different kind of busy.

“There’s not a huge staff, so if you want something done, you have to do it yourself,” he said.

As for McColl’s possible dip into the private equity field, he will most likely pool some of his family money together with a few other families’ to make investments in private companies. While discussions for such an effort are definitely under way, McColl said taking action is still several months away.