Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

BofA Brokerage Chief Thiel Says Merrill Strategy Working

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. brokerage head John Thiel, who boosted incentives for financial advisers to steer clients to more of the lender’s products, said the firm’s strategy to garner more fees is taking hold.

Clients’ concerns about the so-called fiscal cliff helped increase fourth-quarter revenue as investors took gains ahead of higher tax rates, Thiel said today in a memo to employees. Profit in the Merrill Lynch brokerage more than doubled from a year earlier to $578 million, while assets under management rose almost 10 percent to $698.1 billion and related fees reached a record $1.6 billion.

“As clients demonstrate their confidence in our firm by entrusting us with more of their assets, it was gratifying to see that our fee-based, deposit and lending flows were the highest since 2010,” Thiel said in the memo. “Our strategy is clearly working.”

Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, who previously led wealth management units at the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender and Fleet Financial, has said the Merrill Lynch unit was critical in building profits. Last month, Thiel announced new bonuses that reward growth in fee-earning funds and boosted payouts for retiring advisers.

The ranks of financial advisers at the end of the fourth quarter fell about 2.7 percent to 14,917 from three months earlier as underperforming brokers in Merrill’s training program departed, the firm said. That figure excludes advisers in Merrill Edge call centers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugh Son in New York at hson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net; Rick Green at rgreen18@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.