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BofA to Rebrand Some Merrill Offerings

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A Merrill Lynch office (Photo: AP)

About a decade after it acquired Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis, Bank of America says it is making lots of adjustments to its business branding.

In investment banking, global and capital markets, Merrill Lynch is out, and BofA Securities is in. But in wealth management, it’s the U.S. Trust name that is getting the boot.

“Bank of America remains our enterprise brand and also represents our banking services for people and companies,” the firm said in a statement. “As part of this, U.S. Trust will transition to the Bank of America brand as the Bank of America Private Bank.”

As of Dec. 31, 2018, U.S. Trust included about 1,750 financial professionals.

The thundering herd of 14,796 advisors will continue to do business as Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Merrill Lynch Private Banking & Investment Group (PBIG), though, will become Merrill Private Wealth Management.

No changes will affect Merrill Edge, its robo offering, and the Merrill Guided Investing portfolios.

The bank says it will start a new marketing campaign, which will feature the Merrill bull, in April. Its tag line is “What would you like the power to do?”

While some advisors may dislike these shifts, BofA CEO Brian Moynihan says the rebranding aims to drive “responsible growth on a unified basis for all we serve.”

In 2018, Merrill’s registered reps had average yearly fees and commissions of $1.05 million.

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