Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC) said its net income grew 7% to $4.45 billion, or $0.41 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 vs. $4.17 billion, or $0.38 per share, a year ago, beating estimates.
Revenue grew 3% year over year to $21.6 billion.
The Global Wealth & Investment Management unit reported net income of $697 million, up 10% compared to the third quarter of 2015. Revenue, though, was down about 2% from last year to $4.4 billion. The group’s pre-tax margin hit 25% vs 26% in the prior quarter, though it is up from the year-ago level.
Last week, John Thiel said he planned to step down from his post as head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management at year-end. Andy Sieg, now head of the Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions for BofA-Merrill, will replace him on Jan. 1. (Thiel has led Merrill Lynch since April 2011 and plans to serve as vice chairman of the unit next year.)
The total number of wealth advisors is 16,069, up 158 from the prior quarter, excluding those in the mass-affluent Merrill Edge program, while the number of FAs is 14,552.
Average annual advisor productivity (or fees & commissions) stands at $983,000 vs. $1,007,000 as of Sept. 30, 2015.
While the unit’s asset management fees of nearly $2.1 billion were up 1% compared to the prior quarter they were down 1% year over year.