Bank of America Corporation/Merrill Lynch & Company
Merrill Lynch was once the largest retail brokerage house in the USA, a leading USA investment banker, and a global leader in debt and equity underwriting, bond underwriting, and merchant banking.
From the late 1960s through to the 1990s, Merrill continually diversified its offerings, becoming a global giant in the financial services industry, and active in a variety of investment fields outside the retail business.
The rapid growth of chain stores, in which Merrill was also instrumental, profoundly affected the US economy. Before the introduction of these giant chains, most Americans shopped at small, mom-and-pop style stores that operated with a small volume and charged higher prices. Because chains could operate on an economy of scale they could offer a greater selection of goods at lower prices. The growth of chains became such a threat to smaller retailers that the California legislature passed a tax on chain stores, which would have absorbed about 20% of Safeway's net income. Confident that consumers wanted the better prices and selection that chains could offer, Safeway management urged that the issue be put to a popular vote. In a 1936 statewide referendum voters in California repealed the tax. The message was clear: consumers wanted chain stores. Merrill later remarked, "If ever I get to heaven, it will be because I helped lower the price of milk by a penny a quart in Los Angeles.
In the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis of the early 2000s, Merrill Lynch posted significant losses, and began posting losses due to the crisis in Nov.2007. The $8.4bn in losses led the company to sell off underperforming assets and, in 2008, again presented losses of ~$5bn. This led to a decline in the value of the company’s stock, and an offer by Bank of America to acquire Merrill Lynch was accepted in Sept.2008, with Merrill Lynch becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary. Today the company is known as Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
Some stuff in here about the losses + bonuses: ref BoA CEO Kenneth Lewis made a series of highly material false statements and omissions concerning tens of $billions of losses which Merrill had suffered before the shareholder vote on the acquisition, and a secret agreement allowing Merrill to pay up to $5.8bn in bonuses before the merger closed, despite the losses. Oblivious to these facts, BoA shareholders voted on December 5, 2008 to approve the acquisition. Curiously, the govt put no pressure on Merrill executives to return their $3.6bn in bonuses that were paid out in Dec.2008.ref Between Dec.05.2008 and Jan.01.2009, BoA executives continued to conceal numerous facts from shareholders, including: senior US Govt regulators had threatened to terminate BoA's Board unless it agreed to proceed with the merger; and that BoA asked for and received a $138bn taxpayer bailout to prevent BoA's own collapse. mid-Jan.2009: The truth about Merrill's financial condition was revealed when BoA announced that Merrill had suffered a loss of more than $21bn during 4Q.2008 and, as a result, BoA had sought and accepted a $138bn taxpayer bailout. Despite Merrill's staggering losses, BoA had secretly agreed with Merrill to pay $3.6bn in bonuses before the merger closed, ahead of Merrill's normal schedule, thus ensuring that Merrill's value and financial condition were depleted even further.ref
- Jun.2009: It emerged that federal officials exerted pressure on BoA, threatening it with replacement of its management as a condition of any gov't assistance.ref,ref
- Mar.2009 it was reported that, in 2008, Merrill Lynch received $bns from its insurance arrangements with American International Group Inc, including $6.8bn from US gov't bailout funds provided to AIG.ref,ref
BofA Pays $2.4 Billion To Settle Lawsuit Over Merrill Lynch Deal.https://www.wfae.org/post/bofa-pays-24-billion-settle-lawsuit-over-merrill-lynch-deal
BofA also got Merrill's investment banking business, now part of BofA Securities.
Bank of America said Monday that it will no longer use the Merrill Lynch name for its investment banking and trading divisions. Instead, these businesses will form a unit called BofA Securities. The bank also said that its investment and wealth management offerings will become "Merrill" products, though the wealth management team's logo will still include Merrill Lynch's famous bull. The main financial advisory unit will still operate as "Merrill Lynch Wealth Management," according to the company.ref
- Feb.2019: Bank of America Private Bank: as part of simplifying branding for its wealth management and private banking operations, the US Trust name disappeared, with the division being renamed. Bank of America is simplifying branding for its wealth management and private banking operations by retiring two brands it inherited in the late 2000s: Merrill Lynch and US Trust. But it's keeping the Merrill Lynch bull. The bank said Monday the changes are part of its new unified branding strategy introduced last fall. That included a streamlined logo introduced in November. ref
Bank of America Merrill Lynch will now be known as Bank of America
Earlier this year we announced our plan for brand updates across the company that would reflect this. As a result, Bank of America Merrill Lynch will now be known as Bank of America, with BofA Securities representing our institutional broker dealer businesses. https://www.bofaml.com/content/boaml/en_us/announcement.html https://www.ml.com/wealthmanagement.html wealth management goes to > Merrill. From Self-Directed investing to Wealth Management, Merrill offers personalized advice and guidance that evolves with your needs. All so we can help you put your plans into action. > https://www.merrill.com/ > Bank of America Private Bank can help you and your family with sophisticated planning and solutions to manage substantial wealth — now, and for future generations. > https://www.privatebank.bankofamerica.com/ boa timelines: > https://www.privatebank.bankofamerica.com/publish/heritage-timeline/index.html
- Feb.2019: #Merrill: Bank of America rebranded its wealth management division from "Merrill Lynch Wealth Management".ref,ref
Bank of America, which bought the wirehouse during the financial crisis, is rebranding its wealth management operations and dropping the Lynch part of the name in some cases, according to the company. “Merrill” will serve as the name for the company’s wealth management offerings, encompassing its self-directed offering (Merrill Edge), robo advisor (Merrill Guided Investing), its wirehouse channel (Merrill Lynch Wealth Management) and its elite unit serving the ultrawealthy (now renamed Merrill Private Wealth Management, formerly Merrill Lynch Private Banking & Investment Group). But while some things have changed, others have not. Financial advisors can still say they work at Merrill Lynch. The bank will rebrand the bulk of its wealth-management business as simply Merrill; the trademark bull will remain in its logoref Shotgun Marriage one of the firms deepest in the subprime swamp, Merrill Lynch. https://web.archive.org/web/20110109133031/http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/11/26/101232838/
Merrill Lynch & Company Inc
- Oct.2013: Merrill Lynch & Company Inc was merged into Bank of America Corporation, with certain BoA subsidiaries continuing to carry the Merrill Lynch name, including broker-dealer Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith.ref,ref
- Aug.2013: Merrill Lynch was dissolved as a legal entity, with BoA keeping the Merrill Lynch brand for its retail brokerage and investment bank.ref
- Apr.2011: Bank of America Merrill Lynch: BoA integrated its corporate and investment banking operations into a single division.ref
- Jun.2010: #Merrill Edge, an electronic trading platform, was launched.ref
- Sept.2009: BoA began rebranding all of its corporate and investment banking activities under the "Bank of America Merrill Lynch" name.ref In 2008, BoA established Bank of America Merrill Lynch for investment banking, since renamed Bank of America Corporation#BofA Securities.
In 2009, BoA established Bank of America Merrill Lynch for investment banking (since renamed BofA Securities). In Apr.2011, Bank of America Merrill Lynch integrated its corporate and investment banking operations into a single division.ref In Feb.2019, Bank of America announced a rebrand of its investment banking division to "BofA Securities", drop Merrill Lynch from its investment-bank brand, while keeping the name Merrill for wealth management. The investment bank is to be called BofA Securities and the U.S. Trust name will be dropped from the private bankref,ref
Merrill Lynch's bull motif has been dropped from the corporate branding.ref
- Jan.2009: BoA completed the Merrill Lynch acquisition,ref and was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
- Sept.2008: Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Bank of America agreed to purchase Merrill Lynch. The sale stemmed from Merrill Lynch's trading partners' loss of confidence in the firm's solvence and ability to refinance money market obligations.
After merging Merrill Lynch into its business,ref BoA continued to operate Merrill Lynch for its wealth management services, and integrated Merrill Lynch's investment bank into the newly-formed #BoA Securities.
- Jun.2008: Losses topped $19.2bn, and credit losses $40bn. Merrill scrambled to raise capital from sovereign wealth funds and other investors, and sell risky assets.
- Dec.2007: Merrill Lynch Life Insurance Companies were sold to Aegon NV, one of the world's largest life insurance and pension companies.ref
- Nov.2007: Merrill Lynch Capital, Merrill Lynch's middle-market commercial finance business, was sold to GE Capital, General Electric's financial services division.ref Merrill Lynch also sold shares of its stock to Temasek Holdings Private Ltd, the Singapore Govt's sovereign wealth fund, in an effort to raise capital.ref
- Sept.2007: First Republic Bank, a U.S. private banking and wealth management firm focused on high-net-worth individuals and their businesses, was acquired.ref,ref First Republic Bank
- Dec.2006: First Franklin Financial Corporation, a non-prime mortgage origination franchise and relating servicing platform, was purchased from National City Corporation.ref
- Oct.2006: BlackRock / Merrill Lynch Investment Managers merger: link, link, link, link, link,
|Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, Merrill Lynch's investment management business, was transferred to BlackRock Inc in exchange for a ~49.8% stake and a 45% voting interest.
|First Franklin Financial Corporation, one of the largest subprime mortgage lenders in the USA, was purchased from National City Corporation, with the intention of creating a pipeline of loans that it could package into mortgage-backed securities.
|Advest Group Inc, a retail brokerage firm, was acquired from AXA Financial Inc, the USA arm of insurance firm AXA SA.
|Amvescap Retirement Inc, based in Atlanta George, was purchased from Amvescap plc, and became part of the Princeton Retirement Group Inc, a Merrill Lynch subsidiary serving retirement plan sponsors.ref. Amvescap Retirement was a full-service retirement plan provider in the US defined contribution market, providing administrative, record-keeping, brokerage, trust and custodial services for retirement plants, individual retirement accounts, and education savings programs and accounts. The transaction included its registered broker/dealer subsidiary.
|Expansion: ~30 targeted acquisitions, alliances and other strategic acquisitions were made.
|Entergy-Koch LP, a commodities business based in Houston and London that traded natural gas, power and weather derivatives, was acquired to expand Merrill's offering to institutional investor and corporate clients. The business will operate as the Global Commodities group, a wholly-owned unit within Merrill Lynch's Global Markets & Investment Banking Group. Entergy-Koch was a JV between Koch Industries Inc and Entergy Corporation, established in 2000.
|CDOs: Merrill Lynch became the leader of the mortgage-based collateralised debt obligation (CDO) market, beginning when when Christopher Ricciardi brought his CDO team from Credit Suisse Group AG#First Boston to Merrill.
|Merrill Lynch Canada Inc, the Canadian retail brokerage business built on the back of the Aug.1998 acquisition of Midland Walwyn, with ~1,000 brokers across Canada, was sold to Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce#CIBC Wood Gundy.
|Herzog Heine Geduld Inc, the 3rd-largest Nasdaq market maker, was acquired. The deal provided Merrill Lynch with the capability to internally execute its Nasdaq order flow.
|Internet: Initially slow to embrace online brokerage, Merrill Lynch stepped on the accelerator. In Nov.1996, Merrill Lynch Online was launched; Nov.1998: AskMerrill allowed clients to be able to see research; DE Soft was acquired, providing a platform for investors to trade stock; 1999: Unlimited Advantage provided full-service, unlimited trading on- and offline; Merrill Lynch Direct allowed investors to trade for $29.95 per trade, with a stack of optional, fee-based services. By 1999, Merrill had 15,000 brokers in its network, the largest USA broker force.
|Midland Walwyn Capital Inc, Canada's largest full-service securities firm with 600,000+ client accounts, was acquired, enabling Merrill Lynch to re-enter the Canadian investment business.
|Merrill Lynch Investment Managers: Merrill Lynch acquired Mercury Asset Management Group plc, an international UK-based asset management group, and subsequently rebranded it. The acquisition made Merrill one of the biggest asset managers in the world.
|Expansion: Merrill Lynch expanded its worldwide presence through a series of acquisitions and office openings: McIntosh and Centaurus in Australia; Phatra Thanakit Securities in Thailand; FC Inversiones Bursatiles in Spain; and 33 new branch offices in Japan.
|Smith New Court plc, Britain's biggest independent derivative securities firm, an early Contracts for Difference adopter with businesses in several countries such as South Africa, Malaysia, and Thailand, was acquired. Smith New Court operated under the Merrill Lynch International division. NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd, who had grown the firm from its humble Smith Brothers origins as a stock jobber, pocketed a profit of ~£100m on the sale of its 26% stake in Smith New Court.
|Canadian private client operations were sold to Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce#CIBC Wood Gundy, a leading Canadian investment dealer.
|The real estate brokerage unit was sold as part of a plan to offload low-profit operations and to focus more on selling the securities which the investment-banking department brought in. The strategy worked; profits increased to record levels that year.
|Hong Kong: identifying the increasing potential of the Asia-Pacific Rim region, Merrill Lynch established a regional headquarters in Hong Kong.
|, a small but prestigious international investment banking house, was acquired to expand the securities underwriting business.
|Merrill Lynch Asset Management was created as an integral business unit.
|Family Life Insurance Company of Seattle, Washington was acquired. In Mar.1991, the firm was sold to the Financial Industries Corporation, a holdco for the Intercontinental Life Corporation.
|Bull Logo: Symbolising growth, strength, optimism and confidence, the Bull logo was introduced, and became the trademark by which all of Merrill Lynch's financial service subsidiaries were identified. Since a “bull market” is the term used to describe a market with rising prices, the Merril Lynch logo also symbolised prosperity.
|Merrill Lynch & Company Inc: the company adopted another change of name, forming a holding company, with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith as the operating subsidiary.
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc
|Brown Shipley Ltd, a London-based investment banking firm, was acquired, becoming Merrill Lynch Brown Shipley Bank Ltd, formed in London by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith International Ltd, and Brown Shipley Holdings Ltd.
|IPO: the company went public via an initial public offering, one year after the New York Stock Exchange allowed member firms to become publicly-owned.
|Goodbody & Company, the New York Stock Exchange's 5th-largest brokerage house, was acquired when it fell victim to to Wall Street's so-called "paper crunch disaster" - where more transactions were recorded than the company could keep up with, resulting in massive confusion and eventual collapse.
|Royal Securities Corporation of Canada Ltd was acquired. RSC was founded as a stock brokerage firm in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, which had moved into investment banking. RSC subsequently became Merrill Lynch, Royal Securities Ltd, eventually operating as Merrill Lynch Canada Ltd. Royal Securities Corporation
|Hubbard, Westervelt & Motteley was acquired, marking the firm's first step into real estate fincancing, enabling it to offer a range of mortgages, leasebacks, and other options.
|CJ Devine & Company, the largest and most prestigious specialist in the US Govt Securities market, was acquired. CJ Devine formed "Merrill Lynch Government Securities Inc", a business which enabled Merrill Lynch to establish many of the unique money market products and gov't bond mutual fund products, responsible for much of the firm's growth in the 1970s and 1980s.
|Expansion: the firm entered the fields of real estate financing; asset management; economic consulting; and a major move into the mutual fund markets. Twenty new overseas offices were established.
|Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc: Merrill Lynch & Co. changed its name to honour the contributions of Winthrop H Smith. Merrill was the first large Wall Street firm to incorporate, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The previous year, Alpheus Beane Jr had dropped out of the firm, and Winthrop Smith had taken over as directing partner in 1955.
|Merrill Lynch & Company was formed as a holding company to “hold” the outstanding stock of companies based on their capital reserves, and was officially incorporated as a partnership. Merrill Lynch became the largest securities firm in the world, with offices in 98+ cities and membership on 28 exchanges.
|Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Beane: the company amalgamated with Fenner & Beane, a New Orleans-based investment bank and commodities company, becoming the world's largest brokerage house. Fenner & Beane was the USA's largest commodities house, and the 2nd-largest "wire house".
|Merrill Lynch, EA Pierce, and Cassatt: Merrill Lynch returned to the brokerage business, merging with EA Pierce & Company, Cassatt & Company, a Philadelphia-based brokerage firm in which both Merrill Lynch and EA Pierce held an interest, and three offices of Sutro Bros & Company, an investment management and brokerage firm founded in 1858.
Merrill, Lynch & Company
|Cassatt & Company: Merrill, Lynch & Company purchased a controlling interest in Cassatt & Co's investment banking division, an old-line Philadelphia investment house. EA Pierce & Company already controlled Cassatt & Co's retail brokerage division.
|EA Pierce & Company: Merrill, Lynch left the brokerage business, spinning off its retail brokerage business, together with the majority of its employees, following the 1930 stock market crash By 1938, EA Pierce controlled the largest wire network in the country, with 23,000+ miles of telegraph wires, used for orders. Merrill, Lynch focused on underwriting and individual banking, and specialising in equity securities of growing chain stores, including Safeway Inc, First National Stores, McCrory Stores, SS Kresge Company, and Western Auto Supply.
|Safeway Inc#Safeway Stores: a controlling interest in the Southern Californian grocery chain was acquired, transforming the small store into the country's 3rd largest grocery chain by the early 1930s.
|Pathé Exchange Inc's US arm was acquired; it later became "RKO Pictures".
|Annie Grimes, the first bond saleswoman on Wall Street, was hired.
|Winthrop H Smith joined the firm.
|Merrill, Lynch & Company: Edmund C Lynch joined Charles Merrill and the firm's name was officially changed.ref
|Charles E Merrill & Company opened its doors in New York City, on the 7th floor of No.7 Wall Street. The firm's offices consisted of one room, sublet from the Eastman Dillon firm, with business meetings conducted in the Public Library.ref,ref
|Merrill became sales manager at Eastman, Dillon and Company, a group of textile manufacturers in New York.
|Charles Merrill joined the newly-created bond department of George H Burr & Company, investment brokers and dealers in commercial paper.refref
|Charles Merrill arrived in New York to work for a textile company. He met Edmund Lynch at the 23rd Street YMCA, who was looking for someone to share his boarding-house room. The stock market at the time was chiefly the domain of a small number of eastern businessmen, but Merrill quickly realized the vast potential of financial markets funded by middle-class Americans.
EA Pierce & Company
|Merrill Lynch, EA Pierce & Cassatt opened its doors. Cassatt, a Philadelphia-based brokerage firm that had sold part of its business to Pierce and part to Merrill, Lynch in 1935, was added in.
|Pierce persuaded Charles Merrill to rejoin him in the retail business.
|Cassatt & Company formed a partnership with EA Pierce & Co. As part of the deal, Cassatt tranferred its retail brokerage division to EA Pierce, leaving itself free to focus exclusively on investment and merchant banking.
|Barbee & Company, a cotton brokerage business, was acquired.
|Merrill Lynch's retail brokerage business, along with most of the firm's employees including Edmund C Lynch and Winthrop H Smith, came on board. By the end of 1930, EA Pierce was the largest brokerage firm and premier "wire house" in the USA.
|Otis & Company, and CD Robbins & Company, were acquired.
|EA Pierce & Company was formed to take over AA Housman, Gwathmey & Company.
|Gwathmey & Company was acquired and hived up.
|Pierce concentrated on building the firm into a nationwide network of branches connected by telegraph, in order to reach more customers.
|Edward Allen Pierce joined Housman, becoming a partner in 1909, and managing partner in 1921.
|AA Housman & Company: the firm was renamed.
|Clarence Housman, Arthur Housman's brother, joined the firm, with Fred Housman, his older brother, also joining later.
|William Burrill left the firm he had created.
|Burrill & Housman, was founded as a partnership by William Burrill and Arthur A Housman. E. A. Pierce & Co.