The head of the main U.S. securities industry regulator said on Friday the board of Bank of America Corp should make public its intentions as it searches for a new chief executive.

Asked at a conference about the bank's selection process, Richard Ketchum of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said he favored an honest, open, disclosed conversation as to what the board cares about, and what the CEO is committed to.

Ketchum, CEO of the influential nongovernmental regulator, known as FINRA, added that the new Bank of America chief should be thought of as the head of a partnership.

It would be a mistake if the bank's board selected someone with only one set of skills, he added.

Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis announced on Wednesday he would retire by year-end. The bank's board has begun looking for a successor.

Ketchum added in his breakfast speech at Fordham University that, in general, the way executive compensation is determined needs to change so that long-term performance, not risk-taking, is rewarded.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; editing by John Wallace)