Bank of America Corp. Chief Risk Officer Bruce Thompson received$11.4 million in compensation in 2010, the most awarded to anexecutive at the bank, and this year he was promoted to chieffinancial officer. His stature isn't an anomaly

Citigroup Inc., American International Group Inc. and UBS AG areamong other companies raising the profile of risk executives. Thederivatives meltdown that sparked the 2008 Lehman Brothers HoldingsInc. collapse and an 18-month recession catapulted the role fromobscurity to contention for future chief executive officers.

“The person sitting in the risk chair now is reporting to theCEO so the caliber has to be higher,” said Neil Hindle, who runsthe CRO search practice at Egon Zehnder International in New York.“There has been a real increase in power over the last twoyears.”

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