Just when many on Wall Street thought Merrill Lynch’s thundering herd of financial advisers were a thing of the past, the Bank of America wealth management arm is hiring hundreds, and ratcheting up plans to enlarge its branch network in Manhattan and the outer boroughs.
“The thundering herd will be growing in and around New York City,” Andy Sieg, head of the BofA global wealth and investment management unit, told The Post, citing the bank’s recent big investments, upgrades and additional space on six floors at 75 Rockefeller Plaza as an encouraging sign.
Sieg was speaking in the wake of the unit’s quarterly earnings, the best on record with $1.05 billion in net income — a 4 percent or $127 million year-over-year increase.
Productivity is also up for Merrill’s advisers — for generations, fondly nicknamed the thundering herd — and has soared past the much revered $1 million mark, hitting $1.35 million in the latest quarter. It’s evidence that Merrill brokers are pulling in client money and new accounts at breakneck speed.
By several metrics, Merrill is the leading wirehouse in America, with client balances also surging to $2.8 trillion, up 8 percent, in the past 12 months.