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Merrill Advisors Drop Reuters for FactSet Market Data

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Merrill Lynch’s 14,800-plus financial advisors will start using FactSet, and not Thomson Reuters, as their primary source of market information in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“Our clients rely on us for world-class planning and advice, and having access to a comprehensive market data platform allows us to deliver a broad range of investing capabilities to help address every aspect of a client’s financial life,” according to a statement from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

FactSet says its web-based platform gives financial professionals multi-asset content, analytics and global market data. For its multi-year deal with Merrill, advisors will see the FactSet information integrated into both the wirehouse’s internal applications and the client-facing portals.

(Related: Wirehouses Are ‘Doing Just Fine’: United Capital’s Brinker)

“Being selected by Merrill Lynch demonstrates how quickly we have progressed in [the wealth management] space and is a testament to the strength of our overall offering,“ said FactSet CEO Phil Snow, in a statement. “We are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with Bank of America and look forward to supporting the ongoing success of their global wealth management team.”

Latest Results

In the quarter ended June 30, Merrill Lynch’s sales were $3.86 billion vs. $3.87 billion a year ago. It had about $2.312 trillion of client assets. The number of advisors rose by 70 from last year to 14,820 (excluding those at Merrill Edge).

As for Merrill Lynch advisor productivity, the overall level of average annual fees and commissions stands at $1.017 million vs. $1.040 million a year ago. But veteran advisors, the company says, have average annual productivity of $1.36 million based on performance in the first half of 2018.

“For the first half of 2018, gross new household acquisition by experienced Merrill Lynch advisors is up 71% compared to the first half of last year — with Q2 2018 representing the strongest quarterly performance in this area in at least the last five years,” the company said in a statement.


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