Merrill Lynch Reviews

Updated August 6, 2014
Updated August 6, 2014
1,152 Reviews

3.6
1,152 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Merrill Lynch President & CEO of Bank of America Brian T. Moynihan
Brian T. Moynihan
311 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Decent work/life balance(based on your work area) Good (not great) benefits (in 42 reviews)

  • learned a lot about client management in a high assets environment (in 36 reviews)


Cons
  • The work-life balance is definitely a con (in 22 reviews)

  • long hours work life balance leaves only work work can be boring sometimes and can be too overwhelming sometimes (in 32 reviews)

More Highlights

147 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    PMD Financial Advisor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor  in  Winston-Salem, NC
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Winston-Salem, NC

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Licensing process for Series 7 & 66 organized and easy to follow. Their on-line company for the test was adequate to pass both exams. New programs like the BFA and TSA may help PMD's if the programs are truly designed to help a PMD graduate. You will meet a few very nice experienced Financial Advisors and their CA's that will give advise to assist you. Merrill Lynch does give direction that the client needs are the most important which is good.

    Cons

    Odds of graduating from the PMD program after 3 years is less than 10%. Every once and a while you will see how many totally in the program and then get an email about how many have graduated. Not a good number. Most of the graduates in the PMD program came into the firm to work for their father/mother/brother/sister. They also include transfers from other firms that are in the program for 1 year. You learn quickly if you are not in one of those 2 groups your odds are very low and you are being used to bring in accounts of over $250,000 that will be distributed to existing FA when you fail. Good luck.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A lot of the existing Financial Advisors know the odds that you will not be there long so they are not the warmest group. Some can be downright nasty and condescending which is very disparaging; they are usually the ones that walk around with their noses in the air. This can make the environment for the PMD very tough to handle.

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Consultant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President
    Current Employee - Vice President

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Ability to work remotely is a positive.

    Cons

    Company has not given out raises in the past 4 years. Bank of America is embroiled in so many legal /regulatory issues that they won't give out raises. Company looks for people who will just make the donuts. If you have any creativity or drive, you'll be VERY unhappy, however, if you're looking for just a 9-5 job and not a career then go for it!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that you have increased the cost of medical benefits by 42% in the past 3 years and have not given raises to help offset the added costs. Your feeling that people should be happy they have a job is going to burn you in the end. Good people are going to leave because other companies will seek them out

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    As a financial advisor It's all a numbers game

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PMD Financial Adviser Trainee  in  Hartford, CT
    Former Employee - PMD Financial Adviser Trainee in Hartford, CT

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Decent salary and benefits. Generally people are nice. Training they provide is decent, it is geared to young professionals with limited experience.

    Cons

    All they care about is the numbers and the profitability of each account. The first time you miss your quota they are all over you and micro manage you to death and suddenly management treats you like a criminal. The support they provide in gaining new business is very weak. They do a poor job of giving new FA's a proper runway to be successful. The turnover in this position is outrageous.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    they need to do a better job of helping new FA's be successful. More mentoring and teaming with senior advisers. If they could reduce the turnover it would be a much better place to work. When a FA misses their numbers they should try to support and help instead you are punished with excess reports on your activities and forced to make a minimum amount of cold calls.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    PMD Program is not the same across the country

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PMD Financial Advisor  in  Riverside, CA
    Former Employee - PMD Financial Advisor in Riverside, CA

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Licensing and study program paid for by the company. Hurdles and timelines manageable. You're included in company broker meetings while studying. You get to contribute to 401k while a trainee. Insurance benefits provided after short (30 or 60 day) waiting period.

    Cons

    Training program is self-directed. Very impersonal environment. You receive your materials in a box and study online. No one in the office is there to answer any questions, not even for a computer issue - you call India. Program managed out of NY and you are a number, not a name. Too many company mandated HR exercises to complete in a short time frame. Everything is done online so human interaction is very small. You are competing with your colleagues so there is not a collaborative environment. They make you take many tests before being hired but anyone and everyone seems to be hired... and then fired 4-6 months later. Until you are fully licensed you cannot attend any company sponsored client events. Focus is on numbers only. Since they hire anyone who breathes, it is not as exclusive as it once was.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would recommend making the barrier of entry higher, from educational requirements to work experience. You will have less candidates to train and the percentage of fall-out should decrease. Focusing on higher quality broker trainees should also increase the productivity level overall. It is not motivational for a smart and capable new hire to be surrounded by failing trainees. Also, trainees who cannot dress the part, wear proper business shoes or a tie, should also not be allowed to stick around. This just drags everyone else down and makes it look like management is only interested in making it's hiring numbers and doesn't care about the actual hires it makes. Also, there has to be a better way to herd the PMD Program through their calendar then to provide them a binder and a monthly call in with 100+ other PMDs and a moderator who has a marketing degree. Program hurdles should be measured in each office. And PMD questions should also be able to be answered in each office and not forwarded to NY or an international call center. Employees who get offers elsewhere will certainly leave this type of environment as soon as they can.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch as an intern for more than a year

    Pros

    Good brand name and breadth of product

    Cons

    rat race, poor training, hazing mentality, fend for yourself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't stymie the sales outreach so much. it's so bureauacratic, it stifles creativity and momentum. So much compliance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Not a bad place for a first position in finance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Customer Service Representative
    Former Employee - Senior Customer Service Representative

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits package. Competitive wages. Gained a lot of industry knowledge. Great training and time allowed for gaining series 7 license.

    Cons

    Overemphasize number of calls taken versus quality of calls. Immediate supervisors not well trained and not very supportive. Promotions seem to be based more on popularity with supervisors than actual job performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more time in training good managers to ensure better employee retention. Review career opportunities flow and really work to develop employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Will train and discard

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PMD Financial Advisor
    Former Employee - PMD Financial Advisor

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great training and help getting licensing

    Cons

    Very little chance of finishing the PMD program without a connection to a established group

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiring and firing, have better laid out plan to facilitate growth

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    Wealth Management Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Wealth Management
    Former Employee - Wealth Management

    I worked at Merrill Lynch as an intern

    Pros

    Prestigious place to work, nice office environment. The office was convenient for me and people for the most part were very nice.

    Cons

    No structure, very boring, very few skills learned. You basically had to teach yourself, but many times there was nothing to do to even do that. Envelope stuffing, lunch runs, etc...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make a true intern program

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Vice President in New York, NY

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great people to work with, branch management really cares and is driving the business model. Family like atmosphere, people truly care and want to see you be successful.

    Cons

    Local senior management does get what day to day life in a complex is like, non stop reporting up to management, constant tracking of numbers, etc....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let local managers drive business. Also stop looking for ways to reduce compensation you will have all the talent leave the firm.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    “Never open broker account !!! very poor service advisor!!!”

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Merrill Lynch part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    A single login provides access to your Merrill Edge account.

    Cons

    Customer service at is very bad. Never received call back. System does not update fast. Multiple issues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Worked for Merrill Lynch? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.