Prominent Bank of America Diversity Executive Murdered and Co-Worker Is the Primary Suspect

Michelle A. Avan, the Senior Vice President and Head of Global Women’s and Underrepresented Talent Strategy for Bank of America, was found dead on August 5, and Los Angeles police believe the high-profile executive was murdered.

Robert J. Lopez of the Los Angeles Times reported that the investigation into Avan’s death started with a phone call. 

“Her family had become concerned because they had been unable to contact her,” he said, so they called in the authorities.

When the LAPD arrived at her home in Reseda, California, they found Avan already deceased.

“The exact cause of Avan’s death is unknown, but the victim appeared to have suffered trauma to her face, according to police,” Lopez reported.

LAPD has since “arrested a suspect in connection with the slaying,” and according to Lopez, that individual is Anthony Duane Turner, a co-worker of Avan’s at Bank of America. Turner is currently being held on $2-million bail and is the primary suspect in the case.

Long considered a “champion in helping people of color seek careers in the financial services industry,” Avan’s death is now being mourned by those who knew her, worked with her, or were inspired by her ongoing efforts within the diversity and inclusion space.

“We are devastated,” Bank of America representatives said in a statement. “Michelle was a valued member of our company for more than 20 years and will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family.”

According to Lopez, “Avan was named as one of Los Angeles’ Powerful and Influential Black Women Leaders [in 2019] by the Los Angeles Sentinel. The award recognized her for her leadership and commitment to the community, as well as her work to mentor youth, particularly Black women and girls.”

Additionally, Lopez reported that “Avan was also honored earlier [in 2021] by Investment News for her dedication to increasing diversity and inclusion in the financial industry.”


Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.