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BofA shakes up Merrill Lynch leadership under new chief Sieg

Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 10:58

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Bank of America Corp's new wealth management chief, Andy Sieg, is reorganising his Merrill Lynch herd.

[NEW YORK] Bank of America Corp's new wealth management chief, Andy Sieg, is reorganising his Merrill Lynch herd.

In a broad leadership shakeup announced Wednesday, Mr Sieg cut the number of divisions within Merrill Lynch to six from 10 and promoted Mike Adornetto to serve as chief operating officer for wealth management.

At least four of Mr Sieg's regional deputies will leave the company or seek new positions, according to a staff memo obtained by Bloomberg. He granted several other executives new or expanded roles.

"Our shared objective is to make the organisation feel like a smaller, more tightly integrated firm," Mr Sieg said of the overhaul.

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Bank of America promoted Mr Sieg to replace John Thiel atop the unit at the start of this year, putting him in charge of more than 14,600 advisers who help sell securities and other investments to customers.

The reorganisation is aimed at making the business more efficient - with Mr Adornetto overseeing a review of how staff spend their days, so that they can be freed up to focus more on attracting and serving clients, according to the memo.

Mr Sieg, 49, assumed his current post with more than 20 years of experience at the firm, and began enacting changes quickly. In January, he said the business will more clearly disclose fees that clients pay financial advisers.

The firm, he said, would follow through with plans for client-friendly changes despite uncertainty over whether US regulators would enact planned rules imposing a fiduciary standard.

Wednesday's memo outlines more than a dozen leadership changes, and signals more may come in the weeks ahead.

Mr Sieg reports to Terry Laughlin, the global head of wealth and investment management. Mr Laughlin's business, which also includes the US Trust unit, is the smallest of Bank of America's four main divisions, generating US$2.77 billion in profit last year. But the division posted the second-highest growth, increasing 7.9 per cent.

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