Merrill Lynch is introducing a new program for IRA rollovers. The plan, called OneStop, is being tested in several locations throughout the country with 65 reps participating.
The service is modeled after Fidelity's Rollover Express program. OneStop will enable clients to speak to a rollover specialist, order paperwork, obtain an investment profile and get answers to questions--all at no cost. A firm spokesperson confirms that OneStop will be unveiled firmwide sometime in mid- to late-2000. Clients ultimately will be able to access OneStop through the Merrill Lynch Web site, the spokesperson says.
A rep involved in the pilot program says the firm plans to advertise heavily and integrate OneStop with its Investor Services Group. The Investors Services call center gives clients 24-hour, seven-day-a-week access to Series-7-licensed phone reps. Clients with more than 100,000 dollars, those with existing broker relationships or those who request a broker will be referred directly to a rep.
"It's great news for me," says a Merrill rep in Texas who is a member of the rollover team. "[Clients] are going to come in through a front door that's a little different than anything we've ever done."
A Merrill broker in Southern California who is not involved in the pilot program also likes the idea. "Clients may have an account with us already and not realize they can bring their rollover," she says.