There is an interesting thread (okay, a short thread, but interesting) developing on the Merrill Lynch Alumni group forum on LinkedIn. We have all heard some financial advisors gripe about being owned by a bank (push to sell banking products, too much bureaucracy, bankers are not entreprenuers . . . and the like). Of course, FAs I talk to like the fact that clients can go to any one of the zillion BoA branches (Ticker: BAC) and deposit money into their ML brokerage accounts. I would like to hear from ML FAs or recent "escapees" about the comments below.
We have written about FAs anger at "becoming Charles Schwab" (Ticker: SCHW) with the Merrill Edge, do-it-yourself platform. And there have been cost cuts since Brian Moynihan took over in January 2010. One thing to note is that last year in our annual Advisor Report Card survey, published every December for the last 21 years (our survey is in the field right now), Merrill advisors graded their firm decently --- not awesome but not horrrible.
In addition, there are threads of discussions on our Advisor Forums on Merrill . . . Also, I blogged about the persistent rumors that BoA is looking to sell Merrill.
Here is the thread I alluded to and I would love to hear from readers about the comments below: