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February 25, 2019updated 26 Feb 2019 9:50am

Bank of America rebrands its wealth management unit

By Oliver Williams

Bank of America’s wealth management division will be known just as ‘Merrill’ following a rebranding at the group. The Merrill Lynch will be discarded.

Currently, Bank of America’s wealth management unit is named Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. The ‘U.S. Trust’ prefix will also be dropped from U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management, the division acquired from Charles Schwab in 2007.

Meanwhile, the investment division of BofA will drop the name Merrill Lynch over 10 years after adopting the brand following its acquisition during the financial crises.

“We are continuing to unify the company, continuing down the road we started on a decade ago,” Chief executive Brian Moynihan said in an interview with Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story.

The Global Wealth and Investment Management arm of BofA recently reported net income of $1.06bn for the fourth quarter of 2018, a 43% jump compared to $744m in the previous year.

Following Goldman Sachs’ lead?

In simplifying the branding of its wealth management unit, Merrill Lynch follows the lead of Goldman Sachs which launched Marcus in 2016. The digital-first retail banking business was then bought into Goldman’s wealth unit last year. 

“By aligning the potential of Marcus with the longstanding strengths of our investment management business, we see an important opportunity to serve a broader spectrum of individual consumers and investors”, the memo said.

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