Bank of America Corp said on Wednesday six internal candidates are in the running to take over from Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis when he retires at the end of the year. All six are on the executive management team, four are long-time Bank of America staff and just one -- Tom Montag -- joined through the bank's acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co.

They are:

Gregory Curl

Chief Risk Officer

A former naval officer and a political science major at Southwest Missouri State University, Curl has been chief risk officer at Bank of America since June 2009. He has held other roles at the bank since 1996 including vice chairman of corporate developement and global corporate strategic development.

Curl is regarded by analysts as a relative outlier to take over from Lewis since he was not named in a shortlist of five internal candidates reported by media in August during an executive shake-up.

Barbara Desoer

Home loans and insurance president

Desoer, ranked one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World by Forbes magazine this year, is seen as a strong candidate after leading the integration of mortgage company Countrywide.

A mathematics graduate from Mount Holyoke College, she joined the bank in 1977 and previously held roles including chief technology and operations officer and consumer products executive.

Sallie Krawcheck

Global wealth and investment management president

South Carolina native Krawcheck joined the bank in August as part of a wider leadership reshuffle. The former Citigroup Inc executive has served as Citi's chief financial officer, and head of Citi Global Wealth Management. A University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill alumna, she is responsible for the global wealth division that manages $1.8 trillion in client assets.

Bank observers say she's likely too new with the institution to take the top job.

Thomas Montag

Global banking and markets president

Montag, a two-decade veteran of Goldman Sachs Group Inc, joined Merrill Lynch in 2008 as global head of sales and trading in advance of the firm's sale of Bank of America.

He currently oversees all of Bank of America's debt and equity sales, trading, research and capital markets business.

The Stanford University graduate -- with an MBA from Northwestern University -- is considered by some outsiders as a potential front-runner for Lewis' chief executive chair, because of his experience in the investment banking businesses that have driven the bank's revenues so far this year.

Brian Moynihan

Consumer and small business banking president

Moynihan, along with Montag, is considered by some outsiders to be one of the two leading candidates to replace Lewis.

Moynihan joined the bank in 2004 as part of the purchase of FleetBoston Financial, where he worked as head of wealth and investment management.

As consumer banking head, Moynihan oversees Bank of America's expansive retail banking network including 6,100 branches, 18,500 ATMs and a trillion in customer deposits. He previously served as Bank of America's head of wealth and investment management.

A Brown University graduate, Moynihan has a legal background, joining FleetBoston as deputy general counsel in April 1993.

Joe Price

Chief financial officer

Price, who joined the bank in 1992 from PriceWaterhouse, has held roles including risk management executive for the investment bank and president of the consumer finance group.

An accounting graduate from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Price sits on the Charlotte board of Habitat for Humanity and he is also on the advisory board of the business school at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Price is seen as a relative outlier since he has, along with Lewis, been named in shareholder litigation.