David Darnell, a commercial banker who took over from the recently ousted Sallie Krawcheck as head of Bank of America's Merril Lynch brokerage, told brokers he'll stay out of their way, according to a BloombergBusinessweek story from today. Darnell apparently made the remarks at a town-hall meeting on Sept. 13, when he addressed the bank's 16,241 financial advisors for the first time since he stepped into the role of co-chief operating officer.
According to the Bloomberg/Businessweek story, Darnell "professed respect for Merrill's brokers during the New York meeting and said he wouldn't change their compensation or brand, which 'is going to be strong forever,' he said." He also emphasized that they would not be pushed to, well, push lending products. "It's your decision based on your client's needs," he reportedly told Merrill FAs. Meanwhile, since the many management shakeups have been announced, Wall Street rivals UBS, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley, among others, have intensified their attempts to recruit Merrill brokers, one recruiter told BloombergBusinesweek.
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