Merrill Lynch has released some interesting data on the number of minority brokers at the firm.
Fewer than 300 (about 2 percent) of the firm's 14,700 U.S. retail producers are African-American, 3.5 percent are Hispanic and 3 percent are Asian/Pacific Islanders. The numbers are contained in a Merrill report called "Diversity at Work: A U.S. Progress Report" (available at Merrill's Web site www.ml.com). See chart for data on all employees.
Release of the data is part of a new openness in the securities industry, which had not historically addressed employment issues in public. A Securities Industry Association study released in March showed that 3.7 percent of all registered reps at responding firms are minorities and 12.2 percent are women (see August 1999 RR, Page 46).
Merrill did not offer any data on the number of women brokers at the firm.
Merrill's diversity report adds that that career development symposiums are offered to give these employees guidance on "how to deal with the unique issues facing women and African-Americans in financial services."