Merrill Lynch Reviews | Glassdoor

Merrill Lynch Reviews

Updated December 12, 2017
697 reviews

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697 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • They promote and encourage work life balance (in 102 reviews)

  • Friendly colleagues; Dynamic environment; Was offered rotational program so I learned a lot of stuffs (in 75 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance could be really bad for full times (in 55 reviews)

  • Long hours; work itself is not very interesting (in 88 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good and Bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time

    Pros

    Respected firm that looks great on your resume, access to resources is fantastic.

    Cons

    So much turmoil at the top. New managers don't know the business and don't ask for advice from internal sources who do. Too much control.

    Advice to Management

    Evaluate and reward people based on what they accomplish and give them the freedom to do it their way. Trust middle management instead of telling them exactly how to do everything.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "PMD Program might not be best start"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You are master of your own domain. You set your schedule, you make your business plan, and there is little-to-no supervision beyond that (except when, of course, it comes to approving marketing or seminars or other legal matters). This can be a con too. It is frankly overwhelming how many directions you can take, and can be *frustrating* that there is no guidance. Well, there *is* guidance, but it tends to be swallowed up by mountains of guidance.

    Cons

    Imagine this: you're lost in the woods and someone tells you to go straight, then someone else tells you "No, no, go left" and then you hear "Don't do that! Go RIGHT!" and so on. It's like that -- but it's issued to you not informally, but FORMALLY by their schizophrenic training program. Be a salesman. Don't be a salesman, etc. It means that you have to find your own voice, and that can take awhile. Unfortunately, that is bad news because you don't have a while.

    Advice to Management

    Mandatory shadowing. Have your new guys do the dirty work for another advisor for awhile. It creates a bond with another advisor (which is good for you guys, right?) and it would actually help the new PMDs learn hands on.

  3. "PMD"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time

    Pros

    Decent Pay, Good Team, Tons of Work Benefits

    Cons

    No help with studying when needed. Higher ups are worried more about the bottom line than training you to get better.

    Advice to Management

    Teach and train new hires better.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "A slow bleed."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Oklahoma City, OK
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Oklahoma City, OK
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Potential for very good income. Offices usually are nice. Most of the folks working there are good people. Food brought in all the time.

    Cons

    Not what it used to be. This applies to. The entire industry but Merrill is still feeling the effects of being owned by a bank. Was good until regulatory environment got out of hand. This company tends to go way overboard when developing ways to comply with regulations.

    Advice to Management

    Advisors have no time to visit with clients.


  5. "OKay place depending on your team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time

    Pros

    yearly raises, bonuses and benefits

    Cons

    political, depends a lot on the office you work at, strict guidelines.


  6. "Fast paced work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - TFA Corps Member in Grand Rapids, MI
    Former Employee - TFA Corps Member in Grand Rapids, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Chance to make unlimited money.

    Cons

    Working there can be stressful at times

    Advice to Management

    Help out new people


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Go into PMD program with your eyes wide open"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor Trainee in Hartford, CT
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor Trainee in Hartford, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Merrill Lynch full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Firm has great public reputation. Salaried compensation while studying for licenses. Great medical benefits and 401(k) match. Full service investment firm, which enables employees to learn a broad array of investments. Good technology and platforms to manage day-to-day financial advisor business.

    Cons

    The PMD sole practitioner hurdles are near ridiculous and unobtainable for the majority of new advisors. The TFA (team financial advisor) track is a better alternative in terms of longevity and making through the entire program. However, if interviewing for that position, know that the cohesiveness of the team is the most important part of your individual success. I have seen some really poor teaming partnerships, certainly more than cohesive ones.
    Some other cons: once licensed, the PMD program training is 95% about sales. There is very little training in products and service. This reflects the focus of the program. If you intend to be successful, you will not be able to spend much time actually working with the clients you bring on board. Most of your time will need to be prospecting, selling and more selling. This is an uphill battle when ML has a new client threshold of >$250K.
    Also, there is more and more pressure from Bank of America to provide referrals to lending and banking solutions. They are now tying it to compensation and there quotas to be met. A lot of senior advisors complain about this but it's clear that this will be the continuing trend. They increase the referral goals every year.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more into your PMDs. Placing them in branch offices, as opposed to market offices, really limits their training opportunities. It can be isolating and their experience is largely dependent on the attitudes and management of the resident directors.

  8. "PMD"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PMD Financial Advisor in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - PMD Financial Advisor in Charleston, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Brand. Back office. Good base salary to keep you going. Research. There are tools in place but up to you to figure things out.

    Cons

    Little support for sales plan. New hire program is very loose. Management is too busy to give direct attention. High hurdles for annual quotas.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some coaches who genuinely want to help


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Hard to start out if you have no leads or wealthy family"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Merrill Lynch full-time

    Pros

    Will give base pay to get License out of the way.
    Good benefits

    Cons

    Based off performance with no resources. Have to pay for leads or events makes it really hard in beginning.
    Also seems as though Merrill Edge is the way the company is leading sales into.

    Advice to Management

    Have a BDA for new hires that is for promotions or leads.


  10. "Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Platform"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great work/life balance, benefits and hours

    Cons

    Very political, bureaucratic, flat lining pay


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