Andy Sieg will be the next head of Bank of America Corp's wealth management unit at the end of the year, when John Thiel steps down, the bank said on Thursday.

Sieg, 49, is currently head of global wealth and retirement solutions and is a 20-year veteran of the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank's Merrill Lynch business.

He also manages the chief investment office team for the bank's global wealth and investment management business, alongside Keith Banks, a role Sieg will maintain in the near term.

Thiel, who has been at Merrill for 26 years, will take on the role of vice chairman of global wealth and investment management beginning Jan. 1.

The change comes as the industry faces a new regulation, called the fiduciary rule, that addresses conflicts of interest when clients are advised on retirement.

Implementing the rule, handed down by the U.S. Department of Labor, is expected to be costly and complicated for large brokerages.

Wealth managers are also dealing with increased competition from traditional rivals, as well as startups offering low-cost, robo options for customers.

Thiel, 56, had approached Terry Laughlin, Bank of America's vice chairman and head of global wealth and investment management, about a year ago with his decision to step down, a source with knowledge of the transition said.

Laughlin asked Thiel to stay on as vice chairman to oversee the wealth business's transition to comply with the Labor Department's rule, the source said.

Thiel took over the wealth business from Sallie Krawcheck in 2011. During his tenure, he launched Merrill Lynch One, an investment platform that charges clients a single fee for all services they receive, as opposed to fees for each transaction.

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