Merrill Lynch has named Mike Bitterly its new head of Affluent Segment and Strategy operations. Bitterly will be responsible for helping advisors meet the four goals of its Client Experience program for investors with between $250,000 and $10 million in investable assets.
“I’m very excited,” he said in an interview. “In many ways, it’s like coming home.”
Bitterly worked for Merrill Lynch as an advisor starting in 1987 and moved into management in 1996, joining Merrill Lynch Investment Managers as head of global sales in 2002.
MLIM merged with BlackRock four years later and tapped him as the global head of its wealth management business, which included work with Bank of America-Merrill Lynch’s (BAC) more than 13,700 advisors. He retired from this role in October.
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“It’s not that I was retiring,” he explained. “It was an intermission, so that I could figure out what I wanted to next that would be challenging.”
His day-to-day work entails implementation of the firm’s wealth and investment management process supported by its goal-oriented advice model, responsive client service, goals-based advisor teams and transparency regarding risk, fees and outcomes. (The program was started three years ago.)
“First and foremost, we aim for client to have a better and more consistent experience with Merrill Lynch. And second, we aim for advisors to adopt and embrace the process and philosophy of Client Experience and create teams, which have seen the highest productivity in the firm. This is in the best interest of the client and is most efficient for advisors,” he explained.