The second-quarter was generally positive for the large banks and broker-dealers. Assets have been rising, along with the markets.
Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management unit, which includes Merrill Lynch, “delivered its second-best quarter on record,” according to the company, thanks to “strong client balance growth and activity across Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust.”
Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley’s wealth business “remained solid,” Chairman and CEO James Gorman said on a call with equity analysts last month. “Our technological capabilities have evolved from an exploratory phase in the tangible tools that aim to enhance FA productivity, streamline operations and support further asset growth.”
But not all the news was good. Digging down into several key performance measures, here’s how the two largest wirehouses stand:
Advisor Headcount: Morgan Stanley saw its number of advisors focused on high-net-worth clients fall year over year by 145 reps to 15,632. Still, this topped Merrill’s core figure.
The number of Merrill Lynch advisors serving clients in branch offices stood at 14,820 (excluding those with the mass-affluent Merrill Edge operations). That figure, though, rose by 70 from last year.
BofA’s broader wealth unit has 20,447 total sales professionals, including the Merrill advisor force and 1,722 reps at US Trust.