Merrill Lynch Reviews

Updated July 7, 2015
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Merrill Lynch President & CEO of Bank of America Brian T. Moynihan
Brian T. Moynihan
334 Ratings

Pros
  • Good work life balance & no access to email or systems outside the office (in 50 reviews)

  • Learned a lot more about what being a FA really entails (in 43 reviews)

Cons
  • The work-life balance is definitely a con (in 23 reviews)

  • Long hours or very early hours can be exhausting specially when you are interning during school semester/quarter (in 37 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

1,222 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    If you walk through a pasture with bulls in it, there's a good chance you might step in some BS.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Participant Services Representative in Jacksonville, FL
    Current Employee - Participant Services Representative in Jacksonville, FL

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits, flexible schedules, career advancement, career development.

    Cons

    New Senior management, budget issues, promotion freezes, layoffs, many people to compete with, locked in a position for 1 yr + at minimum.

    Advice to Management

    Do what's in the best interest of the shareholders and employees, get back to doing what works, learn to actively manage a company, companies don't run themselves, they take leadership and innovation.


  2. Join for the money, not for the satisfaction.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Jersey City, NJ
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Jersey City, NJ

    I worked at Merrill Lynch

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The benefits are good and the pay is reasonable. More or less on par with the rest of wall street. The attitude seems to be more relaxed there than other companies.

    Cons

    Incentives are fairly messed up, something they acknowledge by changing the system every year. There is not much transparency into how compensation is calculated. There's no feeling of a central direction for the company. The bureaucracy is fierce, it can be very very hard sometimes to get something done. Hiring is something of a mess with no real consistent quality across the company and once people are hired it's nearly impossible to get them removed if they're just dead weight.

    Advice to Management

    Don't wait until downturns to clean out the cruft, actually pay attention to feed back from the average employee. Everyone at the lower levels feels you're completely out of touch with how things work, particularly in technology.


  3. Study Godfather movies carefully before joining Global Wealth Management Technology.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technology Vice President in Hopewell, NJ
    Current Employee - Technology Vice President in Hopewell, NJ

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Entry level person can learn a lot about the industry. Merrill Lynch still trains the street. The environment is very clanish. If you are a part of the clan, then the mob will protect you. That is not the best place for a professional growth, but it can provide a short term boost.

    Cons

    Global Wealth Management of Merrill Lynch is playing defense -- protecting its advisor based business. This approach is preventing real innovations. The focus is on "proving" to the internal management that the things are good, instead of taking risks to improve client satisfaction.

    Advice to Management

    Break up the mob-like culture in the organization. Judge on business partnership and not on relationship management alone which is used to rationalize sub-par performance. Insist on transparency. Insist that top management be fluent about the tech trends and business innovations. They are not.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    A company in Transition...

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

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The brand is probably the best on the street. We are going through a transition period; out with the old management, and in with the new. This could be an exciting time, however I've seen too many times like this in my 10 years here. The people are great, the culture isn't that bad. Job locations are convenient. The potential for this company are limitless, we are just waiting for the right leadership to get us there.

    Cons

    Very political. Poor Management (previous to John Thain). BTW, Greg Fleming is not running the company as the profile states. John Thain is running the company. Greg is only running one of the businesses.

    Advice to Management

    Reward your dedicated employees with promotions, salary, and opportunities!!!


  6. Good place to work, depends on branch office manager.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Jacksonville, FL
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Jacksonville, FL

    I worked at Merrill Lynch

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    As a financial advisor, they are one of the few places to pay you a salary the first year.

    Cons

    I hoped to get better sales training and mentors. Our coaches were not helpful when it came to sales at all. I did not meet my goals and was fired. After I left, there were a lot of my coworkers who also ended up in the same position. When I interviewed, I was told 1 in 2 got through the program. In reality, it was about 1 in 20. Thankfully, the coach was replaced after I left and I hope they are doing better.

    Advice to Management

    Set up a program to help the younger financial advisors get help when they ask for it.


  7. He should have been fired with Stan- he's part of the problem not the solution.

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

    I worked at Merrill Lynch

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    High level of professionalism. People treat each other with respect.

    Cons

    Home office employees have no clue what the front lines are about.

    Advice to Management

    Stick to things the firm is good at, like Wealth Management.


  8. good place, work life not very balanced, but that's more the industry than the firm

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investment Banking Analyst in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Investment Banking Analyst in Houston, TX

    I worked at Merrill Lynch

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The opportunities within the firm and even outside of it are amazing. Great alum network if you're curious about other types of work. If you find the right people, it's a good environment, too. Upper management can be genuinely interested in your career development. Work-life balance, of course, is difficult in banking, but all the junior people are pretty much in the same boat, so it's something to encourage bonding.

    Cons

    Work-life balance. It's difficult to get a weekend off even if you've requested it in advance, but that's more of a banking thing than a ML thing.

    Advice to Management

    Great job. More flexibility is always good, but it's understandable that there're many scenarios in which that isn't possible.


  9. Great Benefits--- Lousey Chicago Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Vice President in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Assistant Vice President in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Compensation package is very good.

    Cons

    Management needs to get a clue; and its not what you know - its who know...Chicago Mid-managers don't preform performance reviews on a timely basis. When you ask them how you can advance they don't have an answer. People like that should not be in a management role. the only reason they are is because the have been with the company for years.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of Chicago's management they come to Chicago thinking they can do more with less but they have no idea. Plus you management staff is dating their subordinates... Seriously, Greg you need to really take a close look at the Chicago office, and ask the questions!


  10. Helpful (1)

    Be Bullish might be the phrase but that sure isn't the attitude.

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

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The firm is really good at promoting and adhereing to the work-life balance. Also have good benefits and services within the main building. Lots of good health programs you can take advantage of such as weight loss and services to help you quit smoking. They also require mandatory time away from your desk for employees that work in investment banking. Lots of great people here but unfortunately none of them are in a position to make changes within the firm. If you happen to have a great team and manager this could be a great place to work but that applies to any company.

    Cons

    Promotions and bonuses are not based on merit. The wrong people get promoted all the time. There are too many managers that cater to senior management. There is a lot of talking down that goes on and nothing gets done unless you have a Director title or above. It is tough to speak out when people that have done so have been pushed out of the company or have left to join a compnay that values employee opinions. Hopefully with the new management, Thain will bring in some transparency to the management so that we're not the last ones to know what's going in within the company.

    Advice to Management

    Hire people that know what they are doing and experienced in their fields. Do not hire only yes men who will tell you what you want to hear. We need competent people who will take a stand and tell you when you're wrong and your ideas are lousy.


  11. Happy at Mother Merrill

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - AVP/Editor in Hopewell, NJ
    Current Employee - AVP/Editor in Hopewell, NJ

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great flexibility in terms of telecommuting, good potential to move around the organization, lots of opportunity to learn.

    Cons

    Risk of layoffs. Obviously the company could have done a better job managing its risk exposure to subprime loans.

    Advice to Management

    Keep communicating with personnel. Don't penalize those of us who are making money for the firm by treating us the same as those in poorly performing areas.



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