Is Sieg’s Departure ‘Beginning of the End’ for Merrill’s Thundering Herd?

By Jeff Berman, ThinkAdvisor

April 3, 2023

The news that Andy Sieg — head of Bank of America Merrill Wealth Management since 2017 — left the firm Thursday to become chief of Citigroup’s Global Wealth unit is begging the question of what’s next for Merrill’s financial advisors and the brand itself, says Jeff Nash, CEO of BridgeMark Strategies.

Plus, Merrill could see many of its advisors move to other firms with Sieg’s departure, as the overall weakening of the wirehouse channel continues, predicts Nash, who worked as an LPL Financial executive from 1999 to 2012.

This is because Sieg was also “widely viewed by the [19,273] financial advisors across Merrill [and BofA] as a top leader who really had their backs and advocated for the wealth management business with the broader organization,” according to Nash, who runs a Charlotte, North Carolina-based consultancy focused on advisor recruiting and transitions.

“With [Sieg] gone, there isn’t an obvious advocate and leader for the Merrill wealth management business,” he stressed. And there are other significant issues involved, too.

Merrill’s culture and organization have “been giving way to Bank of America’s priorities over the past decade. From growth goals, to product sales, to payout structure, BofA has cast an ever-widening shadow across Merrill’s wealth management business,” Nash said. Read More