Bank of America has announced plans to dissolve Merrill Lynch & Co. as soon as the fourth quarter of this year, but the roughly 14,000 advisors operating in its brokerage division shouldn’t see a name change.
Merrill Lynch & Co., the 99-year-old firm known for its “thundering herd” of brokers pitching stocks to Main Street, may cease to exist as a legal entity more than four years after being acquired by Bank of America Corp.
“There will be no change for customers and clients who do business with our primary broker-dealer, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith,” said Susan McCabe, a spokeswoman for the Global Wealth and Investment Management Division. “There’s no change in the operations of our businesses, the brand structure or how we face and interact with clients,” McCabe said. “Merrill Lynch and the bull are still there.”
From one blog post viewpoint:
“While there may not be any visible changes, this move would largely eliminate any real chance of Merrill one day being spun off as a separate entity. This will certainly not come as good news for a host of Merrill advisors who have been privately hoping that might still happen at some point.”*