Merrill Lynch vs Bank of America Financial Advisor

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yo paulie's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-20

Since the merger, is there any difference in a Merrill Lynch Advisor vs Bank of America Advisor? Do they get the same payout, opportunities? Does the Merrill Lynch Advisor work out of a local bank or do they still have a Merrill office?

Flyonwall's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-25

Merrill Lynch = Bank of America Financial Advisor.  No difference now.

yo paulie's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-20

To clarify what I am asking. You have a Merrill Lynch office with lets say 50 advisors. You also have an advisor at the local bank of america bank branch. So their is no difference in the one located at the local bank branch vs the advisor who is stationed out of the office with 50 other advisors. It seems to me the advantage would be the FA working out of the local bank branch considering all else is equal.  

CuriousGeorge's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-05

There are no former BAI FA's in bank branches. They yanked all BAI FA's out of their branches and moved them into Merrill offices over a year ago. The bank branches are empty and it is one big wasted asset. They are looking for clients for the discount brokerage arm Merrill Edge.  That should work well.

Otane's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-04

The Merrill name will be gone in a few years anyway. Already I am seeing Bank of America Global Wealth Management.popping up. 

Flyonwall's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-25

Otane wrote:The Merrill name will be gone in a few years anyway. Already I am seeing Bank of America Global Wealth Management.popping up. Highly doubt that.  US Trust is still US Trust.  They do have a history of letting their ego get in the way and needing to rebrand everything to BofA, but my best guess is that ML is not a brand name they will change, unless(until?)  they further ruin their reputation. 

Otane's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-04

lol....US Trust is US Trust in a BOA branch - they have no home within this conflicting structure.  So now you have US Trust going against PBIG in Merrill. That will not work. Just give it time and Merrill will be gone. Tell me when you last saw a company bought by someone else survive with their own name in the B/D industry? 

yo paulie's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-20

You think they would have used rebranded the discount unit under the BAC brand and keep the Merrill Lynch unit as is. I find it hard to believe they will discontinue the Merrill brand name. Despite blowing themselves up, its a recognized name and most people probably have no clue what happen with them. The other day on CNBC, they had the head of Merrill's ultra high net worth division on, no mention of BAC at all in conversation or title.

Otane's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-04

US Trust conflicts with PBIG, and that overlap won't last long. PaineWebber, EF Hutton, Alex Brown, Kidder Peabody, Wachovia, and the list goes on and will continue.  Within Merrill they call themselves Merrill, within Bank of America they call themselves Bank of America Merrill Lynch with the email address of baml.com. The latest Forbes poll called "Bank of America Global Wealth Management" the top financial firm.Not too hard to figure out where they may be going.     

mnymker's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-24

Why is everyone so proud of the bankrupt company that use to be know as "Merrill Lynch".  Of course they will change the name....can you say Worldcom, Enron....oh here's one how about Valuejet?  The only people that are still hanging on to the morally and financially bankrupt comany name are the hacks that could not find jobs elsewhere.  It like being the engineer on the Titanic....who would hire you?

palmpre's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-07

It will be ML again, once BAC spins them off... Look at Lehman brothers... once AXP spun them off they were Lehman again..

WiredUp's picture
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Joined: 2009-11-24

"The only people that are still hanging on to the morally and financially bankrupt comany name are the hacks that could not find jobs elsewhere.  It like being the engineer on the Titanic....who would hire you?"Wow.... considering that I'm sure there are plenty of $1MM-$2MM producers working there that don't really want to move, I find your comment a little ridiculous. My buddy has 15 producers in his office doing more than 1.5MM. Do you really think that they couldn't get an offer somewhere else? When ML was bought, do you think they decided that $2MM in revenue was lost and hopefully the Dairy Queen down the road was hiring? And the ML advisors still have the emails ML.com, not BAML.com. Even my buddy who just went there into their training program. And being the engineer on the Titanic wasn't the problem, it was hitting a freaking iceberg at full speed.

Beagle's picture
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Joined: 2005-03-21

If they spin Merrill off within a few years, the name will be maintained but I'm doubtful.  BAC chiefs think of Merrill as a massive catch for them to get and it is highly unlikely they won't incorporate the name into their business model.   Merrill still has a good name in the country but BAC insiders HAVE to think they have the better name. The Wall Street Journal even calls them Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  That's not going to last.    AG Edwards was gobbled up by a bank - see any Edwards offices lately?  RBC Capital Markets? 

Flyonwall's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-25

mnymker wrote:Why is everyone so proud of the bankrupt company that use to be know as "Merrill Lynch".  Of course they will change the name....can you say Worldcom, Enron....oh here's one how about Valuejet?  The only people that are still hanging on to the morally and financially bankrupt comany name are the hacks that could not find jobs elsewhere.  It like being the engineer on the Titanic....who would hire you?Who are you referring to as proud?  I don't see any pride in anybody's posts, or any ML cheerleaders here.  Your post is full of garbage and hyperbole.The closest to "proud" would be my post, and I left the company without many great things to say about it. 

CuriousGeorge's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-05

 BAC has purchased over 10 major "brands" in less than 20 years. Those names no longer exist and the "Merrill Lynch" name will also be lost through rebranding in the coming years. The bank always takes the strongest brand and builds on it. NationsBank bought Bank of America and used the stronger brand. The bank has also never spun off a purchase and it wont spin off "Global Wealth and Investment Management." The bank doesn't care if producers leave. They believe they can retain clients even if people leave. I'm not saying this is true- only its what they believe.Also - BAC didn't buy Merrill out of the kindness of their heart or to give ML brokers new clients. The purchase was to increase revenue to the bank with Merrill's existing clients. Loans and deposits are much more profitable. This is not personal - its just business. 

Greenbacks2's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-03

WiredUp wrote:And the ML advisors still have the emails ML.com, not BAML.com. Even my buddy who just went there into their training program. And being the engineer on the Titanic wasn't the problem, it was hitting a freaking iceberg at full speed. I like this, The engine room workers road her all the way down and died. I wonder if they could do it over if they would give up there life for the company. Most ML reps have EGOS bigger than the Titanic. They still cannot admit they were on a sinking/stinking ship.   

WiredUp's picture
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Joined: 2009-11-24

Do you seriously think that ALL REPS don't have egos bigger than the Titanic? It's the nature of our business. If you were 12 minutes in the business or 35 years in the business, who do you think is the most qualified to handle a prospects money? 105 times out of 100 you're going to say you are the best person for the job. Have you ever met someone from AG Edwards? In their minds they were the biggest and baddest firm in the history of the industry. They refuse to acknowledge that they were in trouble and bought by WS. And refuse to stop using the AGE letterhead when sending to their clients, and would for the life of them despise WS/WFA like they were Southern slave owners and the North was coming in to take them over. I know a ton of ML reps and yes, they do have egos, but no more than anyone from EDJ believing that they are the best firm in the world because they win the RR poll for best firm with the happiest Kool-Aiders.

ShredderSr's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-23

WiredUp wrote:Have you ever met someone from AG Edwards? In their minds they were the biggest and baddest firm in the history of the industry. They refuse to acknowledge that they were in trouble and bought by WS. And refuse to stop using the AGE letterhead when sending to their clients, and would for the life of them despise WS/WFA like they were Southern slave owners and the North was coming in to take them over.  Well, where do I start? Obviously, you are NOT a former AGE broker so I find your comments uninformed. We never acted as though, we "were the biggest and baddest firm in the history of the industry."  We loved our firm and were happy to work with them (notice the suttle difference of work WITH not FOR them).  "They refuse to acknowledge that they were in trouble and bought by WS."  You obviously have drunk the Danny Kool-aide on this, we were not 'in trouble' but unfortunately, were sold out by Bagby.  We did use the AGE letterhead untill the last possible minute, oops, guilty.  Do we despise WS, yes, WFC, not so much.  What we despise is being lied to by Danny and Jim.  I watched them do it directly to my face and with a smile on the whole time, not just once but multiple times.   You're reference to the South is at best offensive and at worst bigotted.

WiredUp's picture
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Joined: 2009-11-24

No, but I spent time in their offices with a Sr producer who does about $2MM/year. I've heard more stories about how they were the best firm ever and how their brokers were the best and how they were the only ones that were a family and cared about their clients. And the fact that they resented us, but yet the office would have been shut down had it not been for his $2MM in prodction. Let's face it, the fact that you thought you worked WITH them instead of FOR them is your own blind naive fault. It's a company, not a charity. So don't talk about Kool-Aid to me because Danny was just another person that was higher up that cared about themselves, just like every other person who is in charge. Yeah, you got screwed by Bagby. Welcome to a Dog Eat Dog industry where you can't trust anyone, especially when you think they have YOUR best interests in mind.  

ShredderSr's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-23

You "spent time in their offices with a Sr producer"....you didn't work for AGE.  You have no clue about what you are talking about when it comes to AGE.  I spent time at a busy starbucks the other day, gee, I guess I know everything about the company now.  Having been in this industry for over 20 years (most w/ AGE) I am anything but naive.  I know who is in charge of my destiny. That's why I am FiNet now.

ShredderSr's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-23

You "spent time in their offices with a Sr producer"....you didn't work for AGE.  You have no clue what you are talking about when it comes to AGE....LOL,  I spent time at a busy starbucks the other day, gee, I guess I know everything about the company now.  Having been in this industry for over 20 years (most w/ AGE) I am anything but naive.  I know who is in charge of my destiny. That's why I am FiNet now.

WiredUp's picture
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Joined: 2009-11-24

Considering you didn't have PF/FiNet before, you should be thanking WS/WFA for that, not despising them. It's a great platform and your don't have to deal with the office BS that I did as PF. And just because I didn't sign on the dotted line with AGE doesn't mean that I have no idea of who they are because I've spent a couple of years around a lot of their FA's/CA's/BM's, the campus in STL (which is nice by the way). Yeah, no one likes getting bought out by another company because your name is most likely going bye-bye, along with everything else, and everyone you've worked for/with. It was a business decision, plain and simple. If it wasn't WS it would have been someone else buying you. If anything, you should be upset with AGE for selling your culture out, not the other way around. Personally, I didn't give 2 sh*ts about AGE, but the fact that we moved into one of their offices after the merger and our asst, who helped with the conversion and training of the other CA's, was basically treated like a red-headed step child because she knew how the system worked and the AGE people were so reluctant to change. And your comparison of Starbucks and AGE is quite offensive, and borderline ridiculous... because Starbucks is still a functioning company... and they make a great latte.

TickTock's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-16

So, if a BofA bank client is not interested in the special five year CD at 1.25%, and would be interested in talking with an advisor about his $50K going into a nice A/AA bond - what happens?What if its $100K?What if its $250K?What if its a mutual fund - 401K rollover opportunity?  What size goes to whom?

alby's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-04

250 and under goes call center, over 250 gets put into lottery system for brokers.

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