RR article on minorities & Merrill Lynch

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Mar 26, 2006 4:43 pm

I would like to hear some of the experiences that other African Americans have had even "trying" to get a position at Merrill.  Here is mine.


I went for an interview at my local Merrill Lynch office last year.  I am an African American, with have 9 securities licenses.  The interview was typical, I knew the manager had ZERO interest in hiring me.  (did everything but yawn).  However, he did schedule a second interview.  When I showed up the manager would not even come out of his office to shake my hand, proceded to have his assistant administer tests to that show if a person is capable of passing the series 7 (did I mention I have 9 licneses, and  a great sales track record), and never bothered to call me back or even send a reject letter.  Merrill is giving lip service to diversity.  (I know from networking that this particular office has NEVER hired an African American) I can only speak of my personal experience, however it clearly shows that the recent RR article is correct.  One quote said "show me an African American broker and I can get them a great package"  Well I showed them myself, and did not even get the courtesy of a phone call. 


I sincerely hope to hear from others of like experience, as the saying goes, "If you have never experienced a thing, you cannot speak on it."

Mar 26, 2006 7:57 pm

Sounds like you may be overqualified. 

Mar 26, 2006 10:41 pm

Funny,
The CEO of Merrill is an American of african heritage. Maybe he doesn't want any competition for his job.....

Mar 26, 2006 11:08 pm

I have never had a face-to-face interview with Merrill.  I have been contacted by independent recruiters for Merrill on two separate occasions and a branch manager with Merrill once.


I listened to the recruiter the first time and it sounded interesting.  I submitted my information and he informed me that the branch managers in my town would not speak to me because I did not have a college degree.  The recruiter said that each branch manager has their own criteria and that he could have placed me in any other town. 


Two years later I get a call from one of the branch managers requesting an interview.  I explain the previous incident and hang up the phone.

Mar 26, 2006 11:18 pm

I think you need to provide a bit more info about your local ML office before accusing them of being racist. Chances are, you were simply not the guy they were looking for... reasons other than skin color.


Of the interviews I've been to, the manager(s) expects you to 'sell' yourself. If you sit on your arse and play 'answer the questions', he'll smile, shake your hand, and show you the door, regardless of licenses. Be thankful you got the second chance. I cant stand the dude who, instead of looking at himself and seeing what he did wrong, pulls the race card and assumes he didnt get his way because blah blah blah everyone is racist.


Call the local Affirmative Action office. In fact, try being the only qualified applicant in the waiting room who DOESNT get the job because the racial quotas havent been met....

Mar 27, 2006 7:07 am

Of the last 5 people my office hired, 2 were african american men and 1
is from India.  This is just how it happened, we had around 9
people not pass the test that was mentioned above, all white men and
women. 



While I pesonally hate standardized tests, but ML is not the only firm
in the world implementing them...and I am frankly surprised at how many
poeple fail them.  So, for Fun, I took it...if you cannot score
well on that test you cannot make it in ths business as a rookie.



I interview probably 1 to 3 people a week, and the vast majority of them suck, white or not.

Mar 27, 2006 3:12 pm
menotellname:

he informed me that the branch managers in my town would not speak to me because I did not have a college degree.  The recruiter said that each branch manager has their own criteria and that he could have placed me in any other town. 


Two years later I get a call from one of the branch managers requesting an interview.  I explain the previous incident and hang up the phone.



MeNo-

The branch managers move around quite a bit.  It's likely that the manager who called you doesn't even know the one who snubbed you.


Mar 27, 2006 3:57 pm

Two years later I get a call from one of the branch managers requesting an interview.  I explain the previous incident and hang up the phone.



I too get calls from Merrill recruiters saying they have "strong interest" in me.  I don't respond either, as I took a position with another firm that is working out great.  I hope the same has happened for you.  Thanks for all of the responses, I found the RR article and the numbers represented in it to be right on.  As with any industry, wall street is growing up and recognizing the contributions of minorities.  Glad to see it finally start happening.  For those of us who have "been there"  we recognize right off when a person has no interest in you at first glance, regardless of your qualifications. 

Mar 28, 2006 8:56 am

Something doesn't make sense...you say you have "9" securities licenses and were sitting inthe lobby and taking a pre-screening test.  I get calls from recruiters all day long as well as from branch managers.  My only assumption without knowing the whole picture is that you are good test taker, very self-impressed with licenses, titles,etc, but short on success.  Instead of blaming someone else, maybe try to figure out what that person did not see in you.  Hey, maybe I am way off target, but if you are successful, have a client base, and have a decent trailing 12 most Firms will offer you money regardless of recruiting environment and your color.  Granted, I am sure there are certain areas in the country where the level of bigotry is much higher than in others, but I would have to belienve that in most metro areas, you can just apply at a different office if the guy was a bigot. 


You are in business.  If he/she doesn't like you solely because you are black, well f*ck them.  Go somewhere else, be successful and then mail them a copy of your trailing 12 and a picture of you holding it and smiling.


We all face potential descrimination if we do not "fit the mold".  ALWAYS focus on what you can control (your success) and not what you can't .   

Mar 28, 2006 9:01 am

People don't hire black people because it is SO hard to get rid of them when they prove to not be worth a damn.


I'm not trying to be a jerk, it's just a fact of life.

Mar 28, 2006 9:18 am

It's hard to get rid of ANYBODY - minority or not.

Mar 28, 2006 9:38 am

I was once accused of not hiring someone for being a racist.  He said I did not hire him b/c he was black.  I NEVER ME THE SON OF A BITCH AND HAD NO IDEA HE WAS BLACK.  In fact, I referred him, prior to the suit, for a full time job, instead of the part time one he was applying for.

Mar 28, 2006 10:00 am

Oh trust me, I don't give a $hit.  Before the law suit was even sent to me, I had hired a very competatnt black girl.  I just wanted the right person for the job.  At least his case gave the people in legal aid a hard on while it was pending.

Mar 28, 2006 1:16 pm

Personally I have seen cases of reverse discrimination where a black HR person fired a white broker with cause that she made up.

Mar 28, 2006 8:45 pm

By "Them" I assume you mean African Americans as described in the

earlier posts. You really don't like them? Any of

"Them"? You see I know where you are coming from, I think, but as

a white person who is close to an African American, your comments are a

little tough to take.



You see, imagine being youself, with your work ethic, skills, and

abilities and trying for a position with a manager that has the very

pre-conceived notions you have (based on your posts). You would

not care for the situation, not would most well qualified minority

candidates.



This is an impossible discussion to have, as there is very little common

ground.

Mar 29, 2006 10:46 am

Dirk's the "go to" guy anytime that you need some racist comments.

Mar 29, 2006 4:29 pm

I asked a few of my friends what they prefer to be called.  The two black (they look black to me, anyway) guys asked to be called "American" if you were referring to their nationality, or "black" if you were referring to their skin color.  Neither themselves, their parents or grandparents had ever been to Africa.


The third guy asked to be called "African American", but he's actually FROM Africa.  And he's white, so it's pretty funny. 

Mar 29, 2006 8:06 pm

Maybe you'll succeed in getting kicked off of another bulletin board for your racist comments.

Mar 29, 2006 8:22 pm

Financial Reps are all idiot wannabies that make an undeserved living
by exploiting the old and uninformed.  They are not smart enough
to obtain contructive employement so they profit from the unethical
practice of selling annuity and insurance products. 



We don't expect much from these people, and Dirk represents this as fact.

Mar 29, 2006 8:32 pm
rightway:

Financial Reps are all idiot wannabies that make an undeserved living by exploiting the old and uninformed.  They are not smart enough to obtain contructive employement so they profit from the unethical practice of selling annuity and insurance products. 

We don't expect much from these people, and Dirk represents this as fact.


Why would I want a job when I can work for myself and make this kind of money?