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Merrill Trims Fees for Some Clients With Less Than $1M

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch is moving to cut account maximum fees by nearly 20% for some clients.

The change means that some investors with slightly less than $1 million in assets with the wirehouse could pay a maximum fee of 2.2% vs. 2.7%, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. This represents a potential savings of almost $5,000 a year for some fee-based clients in Merrill’s Investment Advisory Program. 

In addition, some investors may have already negotiated a lower fee with their advisors, a spokesperson told the paper.

“Ultimately, investment advisory fees are discussed with and agreed upon by clients with their advisor, and are based on a range of factors, including assets, complexity and others,” the company said in a statement shared with ThinkAdvisor on Friday.

Clients were told of the fee cuts in January. They went into effect in February.

Other Issues

As part of its approach to the new DOL fiduciary standard, Merrill Lynch is set to end commissions in retirement accounts.

Merrill Lynch said in January that its client account statements now break out fees for asset-management services and for products, such as mutual funds, alternative investments and commodities.

Earlier, these fees were difficult for some clients to figure out from their statements.

At the time, a spokesperson said that clients benefit from “better fee transparency,” and that the changes were based on “what our clients are telling us they’d like to see,” according to a Bloomberg News report.


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