Bofa Merrill Lynch Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback
Bofa Merrill Lynch Sucks. BofA Securities, Inc., previously Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), is an American multinational investment banking division under the auspices of Bank of America. It is not to be confused with Merrill, the wealth management division of Bank of America.
Dennis Galante shared some thoughts about Merrill Lynch in a review posted by TOP RATED FIRMS website: "I have been with the firm for years. Now retired, I am in income and cash. So now that I don't regularly trade, my account was shuffled over to an assistant to my financial advisor studying for her license and not yet certified! What? First, she tells me I should consider selling half of my ATT. I did not agree and she argued the point at a later phone conversation. ATT is earning me a good income. Prior to that, my then advisor, suggested I sell my limited partnerships, but when I questioned about capital gains, my question was ignored! With the last stock market decline, I never even got a call from them. So I called and asked why I did not receive a courtesy call, I was given the "not to worry" answer. So now months later I get a phone call from an ML advisor from another state wanting to take over my account! What? They are the worst for personal service and only want you if they can constantly make money off you! Do not ever use Merrill Lynch!"
Financial Solutions Advisor (Former Employee) says"This company sets each person up for failure and they use their advisors as scapegoats for their bad practices. Do not work for this company if you care about your future"
Financial Solutions Advisor (Current Employee) says"Complete mess of a company. Horrible systems that do not work. Focus of company changes monthly. Nobody in the company knows what they are doing. Bonuses get smaller every quarter. Company actively tries to rip off comp from employees."
Financial Solutions Advisor (Former Employee) says"The administrative burden to open/maintain accounts and making investments is a nightmare. If you think you will be an advisor, you won't. Management is required to approve nearly every investment as they do not trust you to know your job. many of those managers are clueless so I do not know why they bother. The compensation plan and the guide to log everything needed for comp is 70 pages long and is so ridiculously complicated, that it is nearly impossible to track your commission. It is common across all channels for advisors to close business and not be paid due to some loophole the company comes up with. The plan changes so often you cannot keep up with it. I was a very successful producer, more than doubling the required production and yet I went 7 months without receiving commission. I complained and I received a one time nonsense settlement. Of the 7 people I know who were Merrill Edge advisors, only 2 remain and everyone that left has the same complaint. Compensation sucks and management constantly hassles you and threatens you with punishment if you do not jump through ridiculous hoops that constantly change. My management jokes that the reason they decided to become managers is because they were tired of losing compensation as producers. Great joke, how about you fix the problem instead of mocking your sales force?Free water in the break room is the only thing I can think of....The culture here is the worst I have ever seen."
Concierge Team (Former Employee) says"They only promote their favorites. It does not matter how much experience you have. How well you do your job or how hard you work, if they dont like you its all over. I applied for 15 internal jobs but they had decided in the first 2 weeks of training who was going to be promoted and who was not. I was ranked as the number 11 sales person nationally. Number 2 at my site but they promoted a younger person because he had been in the position longer even though he was ranked at the bottom. Very sad. Dont work there"
Financial Solutions Advisor, VP (Former Employee) says"I started as a PMD with Merrill in 2014, got through my hurdles enough to qualify for a position called Branch Financial Advisor, which is an advisor with bank responsibilities. In those days you could operate as a full fledged advisor. Then after DOL, the firm took away the entire platform save one discretionary suite of products that really wasn’t that good. When DOL was repealed, the company decided they didn’t want to be embarrassed so they kept things as-is under the “simplified offering model” then as time went on, the BFA role was phased out so the only thing left to be was Financial Solutions Advisor; which means you don’t “own” your book and there’s no annuitization of your production. While the base is higher than most firms, they take it out on you with embarrassingly low payouts and almost impossible metrics to attain that really have little to do with being an advisor. The culture is terribly toxic, with management constantly breathing down your neck and telling you what a failure you are; I was a top 5% performer for 3 years and would dread going to work wondering when I’d be fired. And there are so many “gotchas” the company can hit you with that it’s like fighting Mike Tyson with both hands behind your back. You can’t win. And you won’t feel valued. Or appreciated.Great place to get licensedCannot build a career or book of business, negative management, inferior offerings, negative customer culture"
Senior Operations Representative (Current Employee) says"The job is the job similar to how it would be at most places. you really don't get a say in how things are done and usually have to jump through hoops to come up with solutions. There are little to no advancement opportunities. People tend to fail up so do horrible at your job and you'll probably get promoted. They hire from the outside all the time for the key management positions and pay their loyal folks that started from the bottom there pennies. You can get paid more at other companies.You can use them to get licensedSalaries, lack of advancement opportunities"
Financial Consultant (Former Employee) says"This company is all about the sales numbers. They appear to put little to no value on their low-mid level employees other than in the form of monetary compensation. Every single client facing department has some form of sales goals to meet. During a typical day at work, you will sit at your cubicle and talk to clients for 8 or more hours a day. Although there is a new situation on every call (typical call center), there is no diversity whatsoever in the jobs themselves, just take calls and follow the call flow. Management seems to care about their employees until their employees do not help them earn their bonus - the vast majority of management appears to be more money-motivated than motivated by the success of their subordinates. The culture is focused primarily on sales. There are several metrics measured to ensure that some level of client service is provided, but unfortunately it seems to be in place as a method to hopefully lower bonus payouts (i.e. one single client over the course of 3 months fills out a survey and gives you a bad score due to a followup on a situation out of your control or asks for info that you legally cannot provide... bye bye bonus). The hardest part of the job is rolling with the punches. They are constantly changing pay structure and have difficulty navigating the ever-changing regulations of the industry. The company flies by the seat of their pants instead of developing a structured plan. If you ever get on the radar for anything at all and someone in management dislikes you, they WILL try and find a reason to get rid ofcoworkers and peers, 401k matchjust about everything else"
Financial Solutions Advisor (Current Employee) says"1 week of travel for training that was insufficient and could have been done via teleconference. Did not train me on how to properly recommend products. Documentation of client interactions were made in a system, however this means if there was a dispute it would be notes vs word of client, thus making FSA vulnerable to compliance violations. Systems were tedious, non-communicative to each other, and very very slow. Bank duties are also expected of FSAs, however they often conflicted with Merrill Lynch goals since most banking business was time consuming and was not a part of quarterly metrics used to review FSAs. If an FSA was okay at Banking and Investments, then he/she would get an okay quarterly review. If an FSA was great at banking, then it was at the expense of investments. If the FSA was great at Investments and earned a large quarterly bonus at the expense of banking, then he/she was not lauded for their investments accomplishments. Rather he/she would be criticized for not doing enough banking business. Pulled in too many different directions by management.Decent benefits. Worked with nice people in branch.Systems are very outdated, You'll do menial bank duties often, Handling banking issues for customers who are of none or little value of your time, Compliance is a nightmare, FSAs are expected to handle a large majority of service requests instead of advising"
Data Entry Specialist II (Former Employee) says"They criticized my work experience, which was pretty rude. I had been out of a permanent job for a while and had to work whatever temp jobs that I could. Because of this I had a lot of short term jobs. Instead of giving me Credit for accepting work so I could continuously work. This should show them that I am hard working and dedicated.I enjoyed the work.Mentally unstable supervisors."
Act as initial Liaison and assistant (Former Employee) says"I found working at ML a minefield of small political fiefdoms that work oppositional to one another. The expectation is that you sell products to clients that only by the smallest thread could be considered appropriate for them and their financial future. The business is soul-rending and a sad commentary on corporate America today."
Financial Advisor (Current Employee) says"Do not value employees. They only care about the numbers and do not really care about the employee or the client. Also the compensation when recruited was not true."
CONCIERGE TEAM ASSOCIATE (Former Employee) says"The ethics of the company were highly questionable. It was more important to open new accounts than to make sure the client absolutely needed the account for financial success. The Sales team was ruthless when trying to get their commission for opening new accounts. The barely trained new hires with no prior finance experience and then put them on the front lines resulting in a lot of terrible experiences by the clients. This Company got too big too fast with joining with Bank of America. They bit off more than they could chew and the clients truly suffered for it. I can't believe the government ever allowed such a merger. I would never recommend this company to even my worst enemy.It was an easy job especially if you had no morals.Never meet another advisor with a single kind word to say about Merrill."
INVESTMENT SPECIALIST (Former Employee) says"get referrals. flip to sales team. rinse repeat. you will be judged on your ability to flip your calls to the sales team. i can't stress this enough. you won't get noticed unless you get enough "PMER" to matter to management."
Financial Solutions Advisor (Former Employee) says"- call center - unprofessional job environment - cool coworkers are the best part of the job - worst part of the job- knowing you're not doing the best thing for the client"
VP Investment Advisor/ VP Administrative mamager (Former Employee) says"Poor management, you are only a number, there is no loyalty to the employee. it doesn't matter how long you have been there or how successful you are.Great people to work withonly a number"
Financial Solutions Advisor (Former Employee) says"Poor Financial Center Manager Poor Market Sales Manager Poor decision by Bank of America to appoint people into management without the experience, maturity and interpersonal skills to properly LEAD people. Every day of every week the bank is short staffed, so nothing works like it should. All the employees are in a bad mood because they don't like their managers, and they're stressed about how many new accounts they've opened, new credit cards approved, new mortgage referrals, etc... I've never seen such a negative and toxic environment, which is mostly due to poor leadership with constant back stabbing by management and the staff alike. I've heard clients laugh and walk out of the bank saying "I'm leaving now before you guys try to sell me something". The environment is almost like walking onto a car lot, or into a furniture store. Merrill Edge is OK, but do you go to a bank for retirement or investment advice? Also, 75% of your sales hinge on the branch and staff in that branch, hence the high turnover.BenefitsManagement, Culture"
FSR (Former Employee) says"So this job is a sales job there is no way around that. So please do yourself a favor and don’t apply if you don’t want to be pushing stuff all day, every day. They will try and tell you that you’re not selling anything and it’s not a sales job. But then they’ll evaluate you on how many “referrals” you can generate in a month. And there is a quota might I add. You can be the absolute best worker in the building but if you are not sales oriented or just don’t care much for that aspect of the job, you’ll be swept to the curb. Managers are evaluated on how well their teams do and this is all based on how many referrals their teams generate in that period. If you’re somebody who isn’t turned off by sales and even wants an advisory career path then this is something you would benefit from. The managers almost never know what is going on. You can ask one manager about something and get an answer and ask another and get a contradictory response which is alarming. You will do no advisory here until well after a year if you’re lucky so keep that in mind. When I first started I was told this would be a much different job then it has turned out to be and maybe that’s why I’m so disappointed with everything. There are plenty of pros but every company has the generic pros so I’ll not list them here. Anyways, stay clear of the firm if you don’t want to be a customer service rep for a year pushing sales conversations on clients, don’t apply."
Investment Consultant SA (Former Employee) says"Day to day activities included studying for the series 7 licensing examination. I learned a lot about bonds, debt, taxes, and regulations specific to the financial world."
Financial Solutions Consultant (Current Employee) says"A typical day at work involves taking inbound calls and attempting to convert service calls into portfolio review conversations. I have learned to be effective in an sales environment. My direct manager has been one of the most ill equipped managers I have ever had. Management seems to be a bit more reactive than proactive. The hardest part of the job is convincing people to bring more of their business to the firm. The most enjoyable part of the job is connecting with colleagues and clients."
IC Trainee (Former Employee) says"Learned Series 7 info, not the best set up, but my coworkers made it worth it. Hardest part was knowing if you don't pass, you have no job but other than that it's a typical office job.Benefits, Opportunity to gain Series 7/66, and Location next to local restaurantsTraining program sucked, Lack of professionalism, Boys Club"
Rationalmind says" Bofa Merrill Lynch SUCKS. A LOT, seriosly. Leave while you can and do not even look back."
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