Relying on trainees, Merrill Lynch boosts adviser headcount in 2017

Investment News

January 17, 2018
Louis Diamond Quoted
By Bruce Kelly

Despite cutting back on recruiting experienced financial advisers, Merrill Lynch increased its adviser headcount by 2% in 2017, adding 333 people for a total of 14,953 at the end of last year, according to Merrill’s parent company, Bank of America, which released its fourth quarter earnings Wednesday.

“Those numbers validate what Merrill’s goal was, to deemphasize experienced adviser recruiting and emphasize training,” said Louis Diamond, vice president and senior consultant at Diamond Consultants, an industry recruiter. “It’s putting young and new advisers in bank branches. That’s the strategy Merrill and Bank of America have committed to. It’s working, but still tough to say how effective it will be long-term.”

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