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Bank of America 2,000 Financial Advisors Depart in First Quarter

April 21, 2009
Related Topics: Downsizing, Retention, Strategic Planning, Latest News
Executives at Bank of America Corp. revealed that roughly 2,000 financial advisors left the combined BofA/Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. brokerage businesses during the first quarter.

The bulk of these advisors were trainees and low producers, said Joe Price, BofA’s chief financial officer, during the banking company’s quarterly earnings call Monday, April 20.
The brokerage business now has 15,822 advisors, down 11 percent from the roughly 18,000 it boasted at the start of the quarter, when Charlotte, North Carolina-based BofA completed its acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. of New York.

“Much has been written about the disruption of our financial advisors, and some have taken substantial bonuses to move elsewhere,” Price said. “But for the most part, we’re keeping the [financial advisors] who are most productive.”

To this end, he pointed out that BofA has retained roughly 95 percent of its top-performing advisors.
Spokesmen for BofA and Merrill were unable to provide the specific number of advisors who fall into this category, however.

Overall, the advisory business had nearly $1.3 trillion in client assets at the end of the quarter.

Filed by Mark Bruno of Investment News, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce com.

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