Has Mother MERrill RealLEH Changed?

6 replies [Last post]
ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-05

There's an article about Bob McCann and "culture change" at MERrill Lynch in today's NY Times. Most of the article deals with what's going on in private client.
I thought MERrill brokers out in the boonies (not NYC metro) might enjoy reading it and commenting upon any changes they have seen in the past 5 years (transitions in private client's senior mgt):
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/23/business/yourmoney/23merri ll.html?emc=eta1
 

cracker's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-06

Merrill does what's good for Merill, everyone else "caveat emptor!"

rightway's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

Yeah, mailing letters out to all wrap account holders who's fee's have
exceeded supressed commissions is really good for Merrill.  In
fact, this along with many other recent changes, has addressed
potential compliance issues for the rep and the firm, all the while
protecting the client against the wrong pricing model.

They spent like a billion dollars on planning tools and technology to
better serve clients, reps...all the while protecting the firm and the
clients by training reps to follow a process and a plan to avoid the
pitfalls so many fell in in the recent past.

Reps have to follow rigerous guidelines in exchanging annuities and
switching mutual funds to avoid placing the client in a less than
suitable transaction...all of this moniteres by an automated compliance
screen.

That Merrill...always looking out for themselves...  The very
point of the post was to illustrate that Merrill is leading the country
in inovative and client friendly behavior, all designed to serve the
client, the rep, and the firm together.  Its all good and getting
better.

cracker's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-06

Keep drinking the punch and believing the hype, what about blodget, what about throwing all the accounts into a call center that are below 100k, oh yeah they are below 100k because they invested in internet strategies and focus 20 and lost 80%, what about Enron, what about the structured products that trade at deep discounts from their NAV but since they are not listed on the market there is no way for the client to come out unitl maturity, what about the fact that they pay lower rates on cash.  Who's going to clean up the mess when all those closed end funds that are issue 3 - 4 a month blow up.
What about the high account fees and the low balance fees
Its all good and geting better.

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

1. 'What about Blodget"- I can think of a few other firms who had one or two analysts who made some immoral decisions...
2. "what about call centers for under 100K"- another way for a firm to proivide more efficeneiency and service to clients who are admittedly not in their ideal target market. Any legit upper tier firm has begun to or has already started to foloow that lead...
3. "what about blowing clients up with internet equities and Janus 20"- yup, youre right, ML was THE ONLY firm to engage in that behavior...
4."what about enron"- again, ML was the only firm to engage in wrongdoing.
5."what about those damn structured products"- yeah, those are HORRIBLE places to allocate 10-20-25 percent of a clients wealth, what with the fact that ML is the industry leader in that are ( along with MS).
6."what about their lower cash rates"- I have never seen a ML ad touting their rates as the highest in the industry. Clients may be willing to give up 25BPS on certain cash accounts if it enables them to access the most comprehensive platform in the biz. ML typically doesnt have clients who shop their liquid accounts for 10 BPs, because they understand the overall value thats brought to their table.
7. " what about those closed end funds"- again, seems like ML is the ONLY firm providing those alternatives to clients., which can make sense as part of a clients overall strategy.
8. " what about the fees"- youre right in that ML may be due to lower their fees, but that $10 extra fee isnt a deal breaker when dealing with clients with wealth.
--- Theres alot of hating going on towards ML.....

rightway's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

cracker wrote:Keep drinking the punch and believing the hype,
what about blodget, what about throwing all the accounts into a call
center that are below 100k, oh yeah they are below 100k because they
invested in internet strategies and focus 20 and lost 80%, what about
Enron, what about the structured products that trade at deep discounts
from their NAV but since they are not listed on the market there is no
way for the client to come out unitl maturity, what about the fact that
they pay lower rates on cash.  Who's going to clean up the mess
when all those closed end funds that are issue 3 - 4 a month blow up.
What about the high account fees and the low balance fees
Its all good and geting better.

No punch here crack head.  I have no accounts under 100K.  No
Call Center (FAC), No Focus 20 ( I was not with the firm then...the
post is about the changes since Focus 20-read it).  I hear you,
you are bitter- just like me with banks.  But you are an antique
in the eyes of ML, and unless the ML reps embrace what is available
NOW, and the new culture they will not make it.  Your view, which
may have been accurate prior to me working at ML, is not accurate
now. 

moneyadvisor's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-02

Cracker -
Trust me.......you don't know what the hell your talking about.

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