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What a delight it must be to work at Merrill Lynch. Not only do they hire 3,000 rookie brokers a year, but BofA also does their level best to attach one or two of those new trainees to your team, ensuring an extra ‘tether’ keeping you at the firm.

It hasn’t worked. Merrill Lynch has led the list of client asset losses versus its peers up and down the wealth management tiers for more than five years. Every week a new advisor/team leaves the firm for greener pastures. Those that leave (and we’ve done the numbers) are averaging more than $1.7M in annual production and $417M in client assets (and an average of an 18-year tenure at the firm as well).

So the largest share of departures is coming from the top 10% of the workforce at Merrill. The best and the brightest continue to leave.

So what has Andy Seig and BofA/Merrill decided to do? They just told us: hire a massive flock of rookies each year and restrict them to sending LinkedIn direct messages to potential targets. Genius!! Because everyone loves getting unsolicited LinkedIn DM’s.Via Yahoo Finance:

“Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is revamping its training program for 3,000 fresh-faced brokers, including placing a ban on cold calling and expanding the initiative’s accessibility to attract more diverse talent.”

“Participants will be directed to use internal referrals or LinkedIn messages instead of cold calls, executives said on a conference call discussing the changes. The length of the program will be cut in half, from three years to 18 months, with a goal of graduating 1,000 new advisers a year within the next few years, according to Andy Sieg, president of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. One of the goals of the changes is to reach an 80% graduation rate, compared with a historical industry average of less than 30%.”So to boil that down for you: Merrill is hemorrhaging their best talent and billions in client assets and replacing it with 23-25-year-old trainees being told to send LinkedIn messages. Seriously, LOL!

We continue to wonder, day after day, why do teams and advisors of scale stay at Merrill. It makes no sense other than complacency and the ‘boiled frog’ theory. What a shame.

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