Merrill In Advisors Pockets Again

Keys? √

Wallet? √

Phone? √

Other Phone? √


That’ll be the new routine for more than 14,000 Merrill Lynch brokers later this year as AdvisorHub is reporting that the legacy BD has decided to issue each of them (as well as other advisors within the Bank of America umbrella) a “business” cellphone.

In a move that is already raising eyebrows about privacy, Merrill is taking the bold step of shoving another device into the pockets of their brokers.

Leaning heavily on compliance and regulatory concerns as their reasoning, this move will likely serve as a daily reminder to those who remain with Merrill/BofA that their overlords are watching and waiting for them to do something, anything…

No advisor should be surprised that their BD is monitoring what they do, but this move feels particularly heavy-handed.  No one wants to carry 2 phones and current monitoring solutions seem like they should be enough, but here is the part that should give advisors pause.

What happens when an advisor decides to leave Merrill and move to a new broker-dealer?  Does Merrill keep the phone number? If so, how will that impact an advisor’s ability to transition assets and continue to serve the clients they worked so hard to identify and cultivate?  

I think we know the answer.  

Merrill advisors, it might be time to make a few calls to see about opportunities with other BDs…just don’t use that new phone you received in the mail.


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