Merrill Lynch has formed a new business unit within its U.S. Private Client group.
The new unit is called the Multicultural and Diversified Business Development group. It was formed to help establish Merrill’s wealth management division among “diverse and multicultural markets,” the firm says.
To new group heads, Subha Barry and Jyoti Chopra, are responsible for developing new client relationships through “innovative sales and marketing strategies” aimed at diverse communities, the firm says.
“To be successful in today’s global community, it is necessary to recognize, act upon, and support the diverse needs of our multicultural communities,” Barry said in a statement. “One-size does not fit all. We must think globally, bringing the full-force of our extensive resources to act locally, supporting one community at a time.”
Initiatives include strategic partnerships with national affinity groups, increasing awareness of Merrill in selected metropolitan markets through sponsorships and community outreach programs, and enhancement of product packaging and sales literature. Merrill reps have been told to help the initiative, according to several producers from the firm.
“It’s important for us to tap into every ethnic group, and there are a lot of opportunities out there that are untapped,” says a Merrill broker in the Bay Area.
One of the first markets Merrill plans to focus on is the Asian Indian community, according to a firm spokesperson. The firm plans corporate support of a contemproary Indian art show in the spring 2002 at the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Jersey, according to the firm.