Let’s play with a little math, shall we? In the past 90 months, Merrill Lynch has lost $230B in client assets due to advisor attrition. Yes, that’s billion with a ‘B’.In 4 1/2 years, based on publicly available data, Merrill has lost the equivalent of 230 billion dollar teams. That is incredible. It’s almost unfathomable.
Their completion at UBS, Morgan Stanley, Rockefeller, and even Stifel have feasted on Merrill lifers now for years. And the eatin’ has been good.
So what is Merrill leadership’s current response? A just rolled out to the field memo, that will compensate market managers to recruit advisors with LOS’ under 12 years that hail from the likes of banks and credit unions. Banks and credit unions. Seriously.“It is difficult to put into words the lack of brand loyalty that no longer exists at Merrill Lynch amongst the remaining advisors and teams. I’d estimate that more than half of large team movement in the industry is coming from one firm – Merrill Lynch. In my thirty years in the business as an advisor and recruiter, I’ve never seen anything like it.” – Roger Gershman, CEO of wealth management recruiting firm The Gershman Group.
Each weekend there is another announcement of a large Merrill team migrating elsewhere. It’s become the one constant in an industry that’s been booming for nearly a decade now.
The only ‘bust’ that anyone can find in this section of the financial world is the once proudest brand on the street: Merrill (formerly known as Merrill Lynch).