Merrill loses advisors but brings in record clients

Merrill Lynch advisors are in growth mode, propelling the firm to new records for client balances, net income and revenue.

The advisors brought in more than 40,000 net new households last year, a 25% increase from 2018, according to the wirehouse’s fourth quarter earnings report.

“This is an important part of how we’ve turned on the growth engine at the firm,” said a Merrill Lynch executive who asked not to be named.

The firm’s growth grid remains intact in the compensation plan for 2020.

As a result of advisors’ efforts, client balances for Bank of America’s wealth unit rose 16% year-over-year to $3 trillion for 2019.

Bank of America’s wealth management division accomplished these and other feats even as headcount declined slightly, dropping to 17,458 advisors from 17,518 for the same period a year ago.

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