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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Merrill, Not Lynch ... Mostly

News summary by MFWire's editors

A key distribution ally for asset managers is rebranding.

Andrew M. Sieg
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Head
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, along with Merrill Edge and the rest of Bank of America's investment and wealth management arms, will shift under the umbrella of simply Merrill, BofA CEO Brian Moynihan confirmed yesterday. Yet the financial advisors (i.e. the "thundering herd") in the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management unit, i.e. the wirehouse led by Andy Sieg, will be able to keep using the Merrill Lynch brand. And U.S. Trust, BofA's private bank, will become Bank of America Private Bank.

The change is part of a broader branding update at the multinational, publicly traded bank, and word is that the wealth management businesses will continue using the iconic Merrill Lynch bull in their logo. Our sister publication, 401kWire, reports on how the rebranding will affect BofA Merrill's retirement plan business.

Merrill is one of the four wirehouses, giant full-service broker-dealers with thousands of FAs. Unlike the other three wirehouses, Merrill no longer offers its own mutual funds after selling its asset management business in 2006.

As of December 31, Merrill had 17,518 FAs working with $2.194 trillion in client assets (split roughly 50-50 between advisory and brokerage assets), and those FAs brought in an average of $1.034 million each in production last year.

BofA bought Merrill in the midst of the financial crisis back in 2009. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor


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