The “thundering herd” is looking to add more thunder, according to Andrew Sieg, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
Speaking to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Private Client Conference in Arizona last week, Mr. Sieg said he intends to increase the firm’s adviser headcount over the next 10 years, although he didn’t say by how much. The firm employs approximately 15,000 advisers.
Merrill hires around 1,500 trainees annually for its three-year program, according to a Reuters article, which cites an earlier report saying the program’s attrition rate is at a record low.
Merrill is finding it challenging to attract millennials, said Cheri Lytle, its head of adviser and strategy development, because they have “a lot of leverage and are not going to sign up for lofty sales goals” if they don’t want to.
Merrill will be looking for recruits from “all walks of life,” Mr. Sieg said, including former teachers, entrepreneurs and athletes. He said the many platforms available within the firm — including its traditional advisory business, its Merrill Edge business with brokers at Bank of America branches, and its private banking operations — should make for more successful recruiting.