Merrill Lynch Reviews

Updated August 7, 2014
Updated August 7, 2014
1,147 Reviews

3.6
1,147 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Merrill Lynch President & CEO of Bank of America Brian T. Moynihan
Brian T. Moynihan
308 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

337 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    meh

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Advisor  in  Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Advisor in Stamford, CT

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

    Pros

    a full array of products

    Cons

    unless on team, its a tough go

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    put new hires on teams

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    office politics rule

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Investor Services Advisor  in  Hopewell, NY
    Former Employee - Investor Services Advisor in Hopewell, NY

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

    Pros

    great training and high pay

    Cons

    long hours little support and glass celling

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    Private wealth intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PRIVATE WEALTH INTERN  in  Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - PRIVATE WEALTH INTERN in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Merrill Lynch as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Good learning exp for someone still in school and is looking to explore financial services industry

    Cons

    no pay for this particular internship. Even transportation wasnt reimbursed

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more generous to your interns!

    Recommends
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  5.  

    Make sure you have a book of business or have a team that will give you accounts

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

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

    Pros

    Great brand.....For the most part management leaves you alone if your performing.

    Cons

    Unless you have a huge book you wont make any money.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    The best training and atmosphere to prepare for taking your series tests.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PMD Financial Advisor  in  Mesa, AZ
    Current Employee - PMD Financial Advisor in Mesa, AZ

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Training, Introduction into the industry, FA mentors

    Cons

    Tiers are not easy to hit. Success at ML requires personal high net worth connections, previous bank transaction lead connections. Must be able to find many leads with a net worth greater than 250K ML will give you trouble approving accounts for less than 100K. Your hard earned leads will be pushed to Merrill Edge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More oversight after the series tests have been passed on helping PMDs get legitimate leads.

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

    Experience working at Merrill Lynch has been rewarding.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Registered Private Wealth Associate  in  Newport Beach, CA
    Former Employee - Registered Private Wealth Associate in Newport Beach, CA

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Working alongside other Registered Associates has been very rewarding, bouncing best practice ideas back and forth, and just working together in general. Associates are very professional and are always willing to assist.

    Cons

    Some of the advisors may be difficult to work with but management takes the frustration away most of the times. One needs to build a tough skin to deal with some of the advisor personalities.

  8.  

    Merrill Lynch Intern

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

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch full-time

    Pros

    great place to start a career in finance

    Cons

    Can be a challenge if just out of college.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Looking forward to interview

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch as a contractor

    Pros

    Went through staffing agency took tests.

    Cons

    Looking for more information on job description and working environment.

  10.  

    Merrill Lynch - Traditional Wire house

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Pros: Brand recognition, nice offices, a good amount of marketing provided. If you can get in, it makes it easier for you to go to another firm once they see Merrill Lynch on your resume. This also goes for Chase, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stan.

    Cons

    Cons: Same exact products, services, and business models as every other large wire house. You start off, get licensed, get a cubicle, and then the hurdles come at you. From my personal experience there were quite a bit of politics and employees were treated differently across the board with goals and exceptions. 1/10 Advisors makes it past the first year, 1/10 2nd, and less the 1/10 the 3rd. Clients may receive more attention at a smaller firm.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please try to redefine the new advisor model. With the aging advisor base within your organization you are going to have a HUGE client attrition rate in the next decade.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Harder than ever to "stick to the wall" as a rookie financial advisor if you weren't a rich kid ...

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

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Merrill was not my first brokerage firm position, but some of the Pros I would list include (1) good name recognition, (2) great training, (3) great technology, and ... if you can survive the first 3 years and put in the time ... (4) unlimited upside on what you can earn from fees and commissions after your training salary ends, depending on how much time you put in. Overall, if you are passionate about being a financial advisor, Merrill is good place to start ... but IF you survive ... I'd develop personal relationships with your clients, and eventually move on to a smaller firm for better payout % ... less red tape ... and micro-management.

    Cons

    Cons for Merrill Lynch are similar to cons of most major wirehouse/brokerage firms, even though most of the big ones are now owned by banks, because they have largely retained their old culture and business practices. Cons of the big wirehouse firms are (1) high failure rate for rookie financial advisors, (2) long hours the first 3-4 years you are getting established, (3) not a great place if you prefer a steady paycheck because market crashes (caused by your OWN firm) can cut your pay 50% or more, and (4) massive red tape and "big brother" culture due to crushing number of rules & regulations that make doing business difficult for "good apples" and are often skirted by "bad apples" whom the rules are designed to protect clients from. Its hard to leave Merrill, they aggressively solicit your former clients not to follow you to a new firm, they consider every client you recruit the "property" of Merrill Lynch ... even your own family.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Everyone in management person at corporate HQ level should come out of the Ivory Tower and visit a few Merrill branches every year, have an open "town hall meeting" Q & A and allow FA's to ask any question, and have a few 1 on 1 private meetings with a cross section of FAs in the office. Some of you used to be brokers and branch bank managers, you forget how much harder all the red tape and regulations have made life for the front line advisors ... who must survive by eating what they kill ... i.e., recruiting their own clients.

    Also, stop sticking rookies in a cubicle with a phone book and saying "go get em Tiger". New FAs should be recruited in teams ... where they have mentors to learn from instead of reinventing the wheel, and washing out and seeing their books divided up by their former colleagues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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