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Merrill Adds Vanguard, Goldman to Model Portfolio Lineup

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stock photo of a Merrill branch (Photo: AP)

Bank of America has added Vanguard and several other asset managers as providers of model portfolios to its Merrill Lynch investment advisory platform. 

Vanguard, in partnership with Capital Group’s American Funds, is providing BofA-Merrill with 10 new hybrid model portfolios that combine passive index ETFs with actively managed funds. Vanguard provides the index funds and serves as the strategist for the new models, while American Funds provides the active component of the portfolios.

Bank of America has also expanded its offerings of sustainable investment model portfolios, adding portfolios from DWS, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Neuberger Berman to model portfolios provided by third parties. 

Hybrid model portfolios from Columbia Threadneedle have also been added to the platform to provide tax-efficient investments for high net worth advisor clients.

All of these investment managers, except Capital Group’s American Funds, are new to the Merrill Lynch investment advisory platform. 

There is a $50,000 minimum for all of Merrill’s model portfolios except for the HNW product, which requires $1 million, according to a spokeswoman.

The latest expansion of the model portfolios offering comes just over two months before the last one, when portfolios from BlackRock, JPMorgan, Franklin Templeton and Natixis were added, adding even more choices for advisors seeking appropriate portfolios for their clients.

(See: Merrill Adds 40 Non-BofA Model Portfolios)

Scope of Model Portfolios

Merrill Lynch “has one of the most progressive CIO programs out there,” said Dennis Gallant, a senior analyst at Aite Group, thanks to its offering of 140 model portfolios that address client needs from high net worth issues to ESG. 

“If you’re trying to convince advisors to outsource asset management to third parties, you need a robust platform of model portfolios to choose from,” said Gallant.

Sandy Bolton, head of Management Investments at Bank of America, said in a statement, “The strategic addition of these model portfolios to our platform offer advisors more personalized strategies to help clients pursue their investment and personal goals.” 

The new sustainable model portfolios offer “clients more ways to seek the change they want to see in the world while continuing to pursue their financial goals,” according to Jackie Vanderbrug, head of Sustainable and Impact Investment Strategy in the Chief Investment Office for Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank.

Related: Merrill’s Andy Sieg: Diversity Is a ‘Commercial Imperative


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