BofA-Merrill added 27 Merrill Edge financial solutions advisors in Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; and Nashville and other nearby cities to its mass-affluent platform in late October. The bank says it is on track to nearly double the number of FSAs in branches and call centers to more than 1,000 by the end of 2011.
“Our new hires come from a diversity of backgrounds,” said David Giancola, Merrill Edge Southeast regional sales manager in an interview. All of them, he says, have a Series 7 and are registered representatives. Many of them are CFPs.
“These are experienced brokers,” Giancola explained. “Some come from the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management operations, others from outside firms including banks and broker dealers, and some join the branches as FSAs from the call centers.”
Merrill FSAs focus on investors with between $50,000 and $250,000 in investable assets. “Bank of America sees this segment as a growth opportunity with clientele currently underserved by other firms. We can bring a lot to this clientele that our competitors are not addressing.”
In addition to the 1,000-plus FSA that BofA-Merrill hope to have in place by year-end, the bank also aims to have about 1,000 small-business bankers serving clients in the branch offices of Bank of America by early 2012. •