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Merrill Lynch is bringing in a wave of changes for its storied 'thundering herd' of financial advisors

Business Insider logo Business Insider 10/14/2021 (Rebecca Ungarino)
Andy Sieg wearing a suit and tie: Merrill Lynch Wealth Management President Andy Sieg. Brian Ach/AP Images for Bank of America Merrill Lynch © Provided by Business Insider Merrill Lynch Wealth Management President Andy Sieg. Brian Ach/AP Images for Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Merrill Lynch Wealth Management has made a string of changes for advisors and trainees.
  • Efforts include Merrill's 'Project Thunder' campaign and an overhaul of the firm's training program.
  • Insider is tracking the latest Merrill Lynch news and updates here.

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is ushering in changes for its giant force of financial advisors as it navigates exits, a fierce competitive environment, and a newly reorganized training program.

The updates are wide-ranging and are aimed at addressing concerns advisors have expressed to leaders.

Merrill, among the world's largest wealth managers with some $3.1 trillion in client balances, has started revamping its training program that dates back to the 1940s. Since Merrill has stopped hiring experienced advisors from competitors in recent years, its program has become a crucial source of bringing up new talent.

The changes this spring came after months of uncertainty for participants in its training program, where cold-calling potential clients was paused after the business found instances of violating do-not-call lists.

In the fall, Merrill started rolling out to advisors weekly updates as part of a campaign meant to address feedback from advisors and stem exits in its ranks. Merrill's competitors, like UBS, Morgan Stanley, and wealth management firms in the independent wealth industry, are poaching large Merrill teams at a rapid clip.

Insider is tracking its latest Merrill coverage here.

Updates for the advisor force

Merrill's next generation of advisors

Keith Bedford/Reuters © Keith Bedford/Reuters Keith Bedford/Reuters
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