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Merrill Lynch Case - MEMORANDUM TO Dr Russell Lacey FROM...

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MEMORANDUM TO: Dr. Russell Lacey FROM: Rebecca Olson DATE: March 24, 2013 RE: Merrill Lynch SUMMARY: Merrill Lynch was founded in 1907, and throughout the 70s, “became a powerful force in investment banking in addition to retail brokerage”, and by 2000, the company described itself as “the preeminent financial management and advisory company---serving governments, institutions and investors throughout the world”. The basis of the company’s operations is the interaction between Merrill’s financial advisors and their individual clients. Clients are brought in through are a variety of different methods such as: FA’s personal relationships, networking, professional alliances, industry affiliations and by “cold calling” individuals who were thought to be good client prospects. Merrill Lynch prides themselves on the selection of their employees. “Industry observers noted that Merrill Lynch FAs were particularly successful because the firm had been adept at hiring strong performers and weeding out the less successful.” Historically, it has been seen that Merrill has done a better job of ensuring a certain level of quality in the deliverance of their services in comparison to their competitors. In the early 1990s the company was working towards increasing the size of their books and to do this, the company ran an incentive program called “The Masters Program” where FAs would win a trip to Hawaii if they opened a certain number of accounts. By 1995, Rob Knapp the manager of Merrill’s Midwest District established a client satisfaction program titled “Supernova”. The purpose of this program was to develop a new way in which Merrill FAs managed their client relationships. The program focused on three main aspects of client satisfaction: 1. The frequency and quality of contact 2.
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