Airing Of Grievances

Festivus Season is still a few weeks away but that didn’t stop Bank of America Chief Executive Brian Moynihan from starting the celebrations early this year.

Now nearly 25 years on from its introduction as part of the TV Show Seinfeld, Festivus is a (made up) holiday alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.

One of the highlights is the hilarious and most certainly passive-aggressive ritual known as the  “airing of grievances” where all are encouraged to tell their loved ones “exactly how they feel about them”.

Last month Moynihan did just that, taking a shot at his “loved ones” in BoA’s Global Wealth division, calling it the company’s “least efficient” business unit.

Given that evaluation, it is hardly surprising that advisors have been leaving the division, which
is anchored by the Merrill brokerage unit and includes Bank of America Private Bank, in droves.

It begs the question: If you are still there, why? Afterall, nearly $250B in assets have left the
division over the last six years. 

The carnage is highlighted year-by-year below:
2016 – $17B
2017 – $29B
2018 – $28B
2019 – $35B
2020 – $58B
2021 – $67B
2022 – $25B
2023 – $31B

“The asset departures away from Merrill Lynch and to other firms is absolutely enormous and
dwarfs any and all other firms,” said Chris Stacey, the COO of 3XEquity, the industry leader in
facilitating career transitions within the wealth management space.

Moynihan, who gave his harsh assessment on an earnings call, also discussed how BoA planned
to reduce costs at the division, pointing to technology like “digital account opening tools,”
according to a story in AdvisorHub.

While the CEO maintained that the company would continue to hire advisors, the AdvisorHub
story pointed to a measure that might have the opposite effect, noting that the division “in recent
months tapered some hiring and growth programs, including raising the eligibility hurdles for its early-career advisor recruitment program in a way that is expected to significantly reduce its
participants and dissolving its community markets program.”

If you are still at BoA’s Global Wealth division, it might be time to start considering your
options, at least before the “feats of strength” portion of the holiday kick in.  Click here to secure multiple offers all while remaining 100% anonymous.

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