Merrill Lynch PMD dress code

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Aug 11, 2011 1:16 pm

So, I got hired at ML PMD program. What is the dress code? Suit and tie everyday at work?

I figured thats what it is, but I thought I'd ask before I go out and buy 4 suits. I only have one now.


Aug 11, 2011 5:29 pm

Have you not been in the office of which you were hired? If so, close your eyes and place yourself back in the office... Now look around. What is the director or resident director that hired you wearing? What are the othe FA's wearing? Your question should be answered now.

Seriously, it depends on your local office. Some require suit and tie and wouldn't allow you in the office without one. Others do not. My office requires a tie (at minimum) the majority of the year. In summer months a tie isn't required. I'd be prepared for suit and tie. You can pull back once you get a guage for your office, perhaps.

Assuming you are doing what you should be doing - passing the tests and then meeting with prospects on a regular basis - I would be prepared to wear a suit. Personally, I always wear a suit and tie whether it required or not. I feel it's appropriate and professional. This isn't a dress rehearsal - dress like a professional.

Aug 11, 2011 5:38 pm

thanks, the manager had a suit on and a couple others (other finacial advisors?) had on a tie, but no coat...maybe they take off their coat when they get to the office?

Aug 11, 2011 5:48 pm

ok, another i supposed to bring a briefcase? if not, then what do i bring?

i was in a completely different profession, so that is why the questions...thanks in advance.

Aug 11, 2011 6:44 pm

Funny stuff, Dylan.  A briefcase isn't necessary - it won't be needed. At some point you will most likely be given some binders or a "welcome kit" of some kind. If you aren't already licensed, you'll be spending your days studying and watching/listening to tutorials, etc. Don't worry about the briefcase...

I'll also tell you this - you'd better get used to figuring things out on your own pretty quickly. As you progress - and eventually get to the point of acting as an FA - no one is going to be there to hold your hand and tell you what or how you should be doing things. You'll find that it really is a sink or swim profession. Chances are that the others in your office will not have the time of day for you. They may smile and chat as an introductory greeting, but you can bet that they are also waiting on you to fail and get out of the office so they can divvy up any qualified accounts you managed to bring in during your short-lived stint. (<--- True statement) Your motivation should be to prove them wrong.

You'll want to depend on your PMD coach for need-to-know type of questions. Otherwise, keep to yourself and get what you need to get done. Get licensed, bring in assets and don't do anything stupid. That is really what it comes down to.

Aug 11, 2011 7:08 pm

thanks for all the advice/tips. i have no license, so they are giving me 3 months to take and pass the three exams.

then i will need to bring in the clients, money etc...

Aug 12, 2011 8:00 am

1.  Always wear a suit and tie.  No exceptions.  The one day you don't, you'll be asked to meet the Complex Director, and he'll think you don't take the job seriously.  Also, there will be clients wandering the office hallway and their advisors will not be happy if you look sloppy.

2. Buy your suits at Marshall's, TJ Maxx, clearance racks, etc.  Pay as little as possible because most people cannot tell if you have an expensive suit but they can tell if you're wearing jeans.  Only get dark suits, they are more conservative.  You don't have to rush out and get four suits, you can rotate through just two and buy them whenever you find a good price.

3. Always wear an undershirt (white T-shirt that goes underneath the dress shirt).  Target or Walmart have sales on Hanes or Fruit of the Loom.

4. Order your dress shirts through Paul Fredrick.  Google "Paul Fredrick $20 shirts" and they'll even monogram for free.  These are not the highest quality shirts but you will be spilling coffee or food on them.  Also, white shirts are the easiest to clean (you can bleach them).

5. You'll probably need some sort of briefcase or work bag so you can carry the study materials.  Like Mr. Net said, most people will be ignoring you.

The only office that I know of where a suit and tie would be out of place is Oahu.

Aug 12, 2011 11:55 am


1) Alway wear suit and tie. you can never be over dressed. Dress for your bosses job.

2) Buy two good suites, seven good shirts, seven good ties, and two pairs of good shoes. Even if ML does not work out, you will need to look good interviewing.

3) I have 20 year old shoes that look great. Buy quality products and take care of them. Buy your paper towels at  Kmart not your business clothes.

Aug 12, 2011 12:38 pm

I appreciate all the tips guys. Thanks.

Aug 12, 2011 9:26 pm

Buy a quality sleeping bag. You'll be working through the night.

Aug 13, 2011 9:11 am

always wear an undershirt?  What?

Aug 15, 2011 7:41 pm

one more i get an email saying show up on this date to start mention about time..should i call them, or will that seem like a strange thing for a new guy to call and ask when he is supposed to show up?

should i just go at like 8am or 7am or 9am?


Aug 15, 2011 8:06 pm

9 should be good.

Aug 15, 2011 9:22 pm

8:00 at the latest. 9:00 is for lazy people.

As for clothing I wore a ballerina outfit my first day.

Aug 16, 2011 3:44 pm


one more i get an email saying show up on this date to start mention about time..should i call them, or will that seem like a strange thing for a new guy to call and ask when he is supposed to show up?

should i just go at like 8am or 7am or 9am?



8am I'd say.  Or why not stop by the office prior to your start date to find out?  I start at ML on Monday - we're jumping in on the deep end!  Best of luck to you!!!

Aug 16, 2011 4:43 pm

i did call them and they said 9am

Aug 16, 2011 6:23 pm

They say 9:00.  Still get there at 8:30 prepared and ready to go.  You'll most likely still be one of the first people there.  Just sit in the lobby and wait for the Branch Administrator or Director's Assistant to get there.  Always go the extra mile.  And, make it a habit. 

Aug 24, 2011 11:51 pm

i got another question about ML. They want to know if I have investments elsewhere? Someone told me it was because I have to move all my investments to ML. Is this true? Can I say I have no investments elsewhere?

Do they have any way of knowing if I do or not?

Aug 25, 2011 10:51 am

Yeah, just lie about it.  Tell them you don't have any outside investments when you really do.  That should go over like a lead balloon.  You have got to be kidding me with these questions.  What time do I come to the office?  What should I wear?  WTF?!  What planet are you from.  Didn't you SEE what the people from ML were wearing?  What do you think you should wear?  Flip flops and beach shorts?!  Seriously.  I know ML is on a hiring spree, but come on.  If you are this clueless, you may want to consider getting yourself up to speed like...YESTERDAY. 

Do me a favor.  Please don't ask your branch manager any stupid questions on your first day and say as little as possible.  That way, you may last longer than the first week.   

Aug 25, 2011 9:12 pm

so if i have outside investments, will ML have me move them to ML or can I keep them where they are now?