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Portfolio > Portfolio Construction

Who Made It Into Merrill’s Expanded Model Portfolio Lineup?

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Bank of America has expanded the number of model portfolios on its investment advisory platform, putting the total number of these portfolios above 225.

The news comes one day after BofA said Merrill Lynch clients could use its mobile banking app for functions like making trades and checking the balance of their retirement accounts; its virtual assistant, Erica, also can connect clients to an advisor.

The latest model portfolios in the Merrill Lynch Investment Advisory Program lineup include those built by Capital Group, Eaton Vance, Invesco, John Hancock Investment Management, Nuveen, PGIM, Pimco and WisdomTree.

(Related: How to Choose a Model Portfolio)

In addition, BlackRock, JPMorgan, Franklin Templeton and Natixis Investment Managers have expanded the model portfolios they offer on the platform.   

The model portfolios have a minimum investment of $50,000, except for a subset aimed at high-net-worth investors; the HNW portfolios, which are made up of separately managed accounts and exchange traded funds. require a $1.5 million minimum investment.

According to the wirehouse, its advisors and their clients now “gain access to an expanded mix of active, passive and hybrid strategies, informed by and measured against the strategic asset allocation guidance from the company’s Chief Investment Office (CIO).”

Some portfolios include options like liquid alternative investments, income generation and tax-efficient high-net-worth solutions.  

In October, Merrill added 40 model portfolios to its Investment Advisor Program platform. Today, the platform has more than 100 model portfolios from 12 different third-party investment managers and 125 model portfolios managed by its CIO.  

The wirehouse says nine out of 10 of its advisors use at least one CIO model portfolio. 

“With advisors being called upon heavily today to deliver advice and service in a more personalized manner and across many disciplines, our … [model] portfolios offer the potential to deliver consistent outcomes across cycles and more complex market environments, while giving advisors greater capacity overall,” Chris Hyzy, chief investment officer for Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank, said in a statement.

Merrill’s wealth unit had 17,888 advisors as of June 30, up by 380 from last year; these figures include some advisors working on Merrill Edge and other BofA operations. The overall wealth unit has $2.9 trillion of client assets.

The wealth unit’s financial advisors have average yearly fees and commissions of $1.07 million.

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