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Bank of America to open 600 additional Merrill Edge Investment Centers

Published 02 April 2018

Bank of America plans to open 600 new Merrill Edge investment centers within its expanding coast-to-coast financial center footprint, bringing its total to 2,800 by 2020.

Bank of America plans to open 600 new Merrill Edge investment centers in the US to expand its coast-to-coast financial center footprint, bringing its total to 2,800 by 2020.

The effort is part of Bank of America’s previously mentioned plan to invest heavily in both its physical and digital presence across the United States, entering new markets and redesigning more than a third of its existing financial centers.

To meet growing client demand for investment services, Merrill Edge also expects to add 300 new Financial Solutions Advisors for a total of 4,000 representatives by year-end.

The 600 new Merrill Edge investment centers will be added to new and existing Bank of America financial center locations. Merrill Edge investment centers will be built within new financial centers opening in Cleveland; Cincinnati; Columbus; Indianapolis; Lexington, KY; Pittsburgh; and Salt Lake City. Merrill Edge investment centers will also be added to existing financial center locations in Chicago; Houston; Kansas City, Kan.; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis; New York; Philadelphia; San Francisco; and San Jose. Bank of America currently has 4,500 financial centers across the United States, including 2,200 with dedicated, on-site Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisors and another 770 through video conferencing.

Merrill Edge is a streamlined financial platform that offers access to online and advised investing, trading, brokerage and banking services. Clients can be self-directed; work with a Financial Solutions Advisor; or access Merrill Edge Guided Investing, an online advisory program that offers Global Wealth & Investment Management CIO-directed portfolio management strategies.

Since its creation in 2010, Merrill Edge has grown steadily to $184.5bn in assets and more than 2.4 million accounts. Merrill Edge also works with Merrill Lynch and US Trust to support clients’ needs as they become more complex – giving clients access to our full wealth management offering.

Bank of America Merrill Edge head Aron Levine said: “Our goal is to serve our clients in ways most convenient to them, and we have both the brick and mortar and the digital presence to do just that.

“Our clients have asked for seamless integration of their Bank of America banking and Merrill Edge investing, and appreciate being recognized and rewarded for their relationship. We continue to listen and deliver, enabling us to grow responsibly and meet our clients’ evolving needs.”

Continued tech innovations and new capabilities for clients

Merrill Edge continues to create new solutions to help clients pursue their investing goals. One example is the launch of Merrill Edge Guided Investing last year, an online investing service that provides access to investment strategies managed by the Merrill Lynch and US Trust Chief Investment Office.

Client behavior suggests that Merrill Edge Guided Investing is instrumental to retirement planning. Three-quarters of accounts that have been opened by our clients are focused on retirement goals, with most (80%) set for a time horizon of 10 or more years.

Most recently, Merrill Edge launched two new patent-pending experiences for the self-directed investor, helping them make more informed investing decisions. Stock Story helps clients discover critical information about companies in a new and innovative way without having to know all the investing jargon. Portfolio Story provides step-by-step guidance to key elements of their account, helping clients quickly find answers to their most critical questions.

Additional capabilities to advance the client experience and help clients meet their financial goals include:

Integrated capabilities across banking and investments

Ability to view one’s entire financial picture on a single page, including Merrill Edge investing accounts, Bank of America banking accounts and other accounts, such as 401(k)s held at other financial institutions.

Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program recognizes and rewards clients for their relationships across deposits, investments and loans.

Trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options online or with the Merrill Edge mobile app.

Transfer money in real time from Bank of America banking accounts with instant access to place trades.

Access to thousands of the most highly requested index and low-cost funds.

Access to fixed income portfolios, ladder bonds, treasuries and CDs designed to provide a steady income flow.

Industry-recognized research, insights and tools

Stay on top of the markets with real-time Briefing.com updates throughout the trading day, along with access to over 30 independent news providers.

Easy access to tools and research for the self-directed investor to explore ETFs, mutual funds, equities and other investments with no minimums and no maintenance fees.

Access to industry-leading BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, CFRA and Morningstar research.

Learn more about investing with the Merrill Edge Investing Classroom, a series of courses that range from basic to more sophisticated strategies.

Understand your investing impact with access to environmental, social and governance scores for individual stocks and your portfolio.

Industry recognition, awards and accolades

In the last year, Merrill Edge received many industry accolades and reviews, recognizing its excellence in client experience and innovative tools and resources.

Bank of America Consumer & Small Business co-head Dean Athanasia said: “We’re thrilled to be recognized by these prestigious organizations.

“These awards demonstrate our commitment and our success in helping clients pursue their financial and life goals and showcase our best-in-class approach to the industry.”

Notable awards and recognition include:

Barron’s 2018 Best Online Broker Survey (March 2018) – Merrill Edge earned 4 out of 5 stars and was named one of the top online brokers.

Customer Service Institute of America (March 2018) – Merrill Edge has been awarded the 2017 International Service Excellence Award in the category of customer-focused innovations.

Stockbrokers.com’s eighth annual Online Broker Review (Feb. 2018) – Merrill Edge was awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars, and received a No. 1 ranking for overall client experience and a No. 1 ranking for new tool for its new stock research experience.

Corporate Insight’s 2017 e-Monitor Awards Report (Jan. 2018) – Merrill Edge earned the top spot in the equity research and quotes category due to its new stock research experience. Merrill Edge also earned the most medals of any firm.

NerdWallet (Jan. 2018) – Merrill Edge was named one of the “best online brokers for stock trading in 2018.”

J.D. Power (Nov. 2017) – Merrill Edge’s contact centers were recognized for providing “an outstanding customer service experience” in the live phone channel for the seventh consecutive year.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine (Oct. 2017) – Merrill Edge was named the top online broker in a tie with Fidelity.

Source: Company Press Release