Merrill Lynch / BOA Advisor - Legit or not?

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Jul 18, 2014 9:49 pm

Hello All,

I am currently a rep at a discount brokerage firm.  My current role involves working with clients that have up to $500k in investable assets and positioning managed accounts, annuities, funds etc. based on their situation.  The grid I am on is very simplistic based on the business I close.  The only thing I don't like right now is that my comp is somewhat limited and since I am capped on production and I don't get any trails on production.

Anyways, I was recently contacted by a recruit that works with the biggest Merrill office in my area.  The Merrill office was described to me as more of a "boutique" partner of Merrill BOA.  The role they are recruiting me for is as a Financial Advisor that visits Bank of America branches in their radius.  They indicated that associates in the BOA branches are resonsible for identifying and forwarding leads leads to this particular Merrill Lynch office.  I would then call out to these leads to schedule appointments at the branch offices and position financial solutions.  They listed to me the branches that they partner with, and they are all in affluent areas of the city I live in.

Now this all sounds legit to me.  I will apparently be given the opportunity to build my own book of clients, albeit I will have production quotas to hit for the first few years.  I won't have to do my own 'service' which is something that irritates me about my current role.  The indication is that the average rep makes around $120k in comp, which is substantially more than I make now.

My questions to you guys are as follows:

Does this sound legit at face value? Can anyone cogently explain to me how the typical merrill BOA grid compensation works (ie: if i bring in 7-10 mill in flows, and develop 90% of it or so into product, what does that look like from a comp perspective?) $50k is the starting base salary... how long would that typically last? Is the bank branch network a legitimate way to generate leads? 

That's all I really have for now.  I would love to hear your thoughts.


Jul 22, 2014 11:34 am

I am a partner on a team that has a (BFA)Branch Financial Advisor in a B of A location. The start has been a bit slown and takes 3 months or so to get moving but the leads are real and qualified. Your success will be greatly deppendent on your team and how the traffic in your branch is. a 120,000 income is possible but for the first 3 year 80-90 is more likely. You may not want to service the clients, but servicing makes then yours and is where the referrals come from long term. I wouldn’t be too quick to give that up.