Job offer by Merrill Lynch as a FA trainee?

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Jun 7, 2011 11:51 pm

Hello Everyone,

Here is my question to those FA's with enough experience in their career.

I had a job interview last week with Merrill Lynch. First they informed me that I passed the FIAT test. So, I spoke to 2 individuals on the same day. I was asked to bring a list of customers with me showing customers and their net worth.

I made a LONG list w/ bunch of names! Some of them were not reflecting the real net worth of course! Anywhow, I had one more interview and I was offered this trainee position. What bothered me most is that I was several times told there is no business given to me, and I HAD TO BRING ALL THE CLIENTS!!

My question to you guys;
a)how can somebody build a book business from scratch? My list is around 100 people only!
b) Merrill Lynch really does not provide me any Bank of America branch to work at? I mean Bank of America has ton's of locations, who deals with their potential client?
c) will i be asked right away for production and generate business?

Thanks you so much everybody for helping.


Jun 8, 2011 10:12 am

If you are averse to bringing in clients from your own efforts, ML or any traditional FA role is not the career for you.  You may want to inquire about job opportunities directly at a bank, where much of your production can be generated from banking customers.  Know that your income will be limited in the banking FA arrangement as well. 

In regard to your question, you will have escalating quarterly goals in terms of assets and production that you will need to meet while you are in training.  You don't meet your goals; you don't keep your job.

Generating this business can be achieved how ever you see fit - within compliance guidelines.  That may consist of cold calling, seminars, cold walking, networking, friends and family, etc.  It's your business.  You are ultimately responsible for your own success or failure. 

No, B of A assets will not come to you as a PMD in their program. 

ML is not hiring you to manage their client's money.  They are hiring you to bring in net new assets.  Remember that.

Hope this helps.

Jun 8, 2011 10:19 am

Additionally, if you have been truly offered a position, by this point in the interview process you should have been given literature that fully explains what the program is, your pay scale and what is expected of you in terms of the hurdles.  If you haven't, then you most likely haven't been formally offered a position.  If you are still interviewing, simply ask for a copy of the compensation plan and they should give it to you.  Read all of it very thoroughly.  Then, read it again!  Many of your questions will be answered.