Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch Wealth Management unit is banning trainee brokers from making cold calls, a vestige of an era when the industry pushed hot stocks on anyone who would pick up the phone.
Merrill on Monday rolled out a revamped adviser-training program that prohibits participants from cold calling and directs would-be brokers to use internal referrals or LinkedIn messages to land clients instead.
“We are leaning much more heavily on leads and referrals from the broader company,” Merrill President Andy Sieg said in April.
Participants who fail to meet the goals are kicked out or moved to other roles in the bank.
Successful recruits often had extensive personal networks and were less reliant on cold calling, trainees said.
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