May 24, 2021
Louis Diamond Quoted
By Diana Britton
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management revealed details Monday about its new advisor development training program, with perhaps the biggest change being a ban on cold-calling that will apply to the entire Thundering Herd.
Louis Diamond, president of Diamond Consultants, believes the cold-call ban stems from several firings of Merrill advisors who violated the firm’s Do Not Call list. For instance, the firm terminated financial advisors Ethan Kunin in Austin and Nicholas John Ferguson in New York at the end of 2020. In his BrokerCheck profile, Kunin said he was following guidance he received in the training program during the summer of 2020.
“In classic Merrill form though, they’re making a blanket rule across the company, without making exceptions or letting certain advisors who aren’t violating the rule still kind of do their business the way they want to,” Diamond said. “It’s just industry practice: Trainees cold-call, and it’s like a rite of passage. It’s how so many advisors built their business. It’s a badge of honor.”