Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc

CRD#7691
Investment Advisor Firm

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Overview

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc is a financial advisory company headquartered in New York, New York. The firm oversees $797.3 billion in assets over 2.5 million customer accounts, making it one of the biggest firms in the United States by assets under management (AUM). The company has a very large team of 41,217 employees, including 25,576 financial advisors. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc is not a registered broker-dealer, signifying that the firm cannot buy and sell securities for its own accounts as well as its clients' and instead has to go through a broker-dealer firm to do so. Securities are exchangable fiscal investments such as options, equities and bonds.

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc administers some of the firm's client assets on a discretionary basis. Discretionary management means that transaction judgments are made by a portfolio manager without requiring the client's authorization. It also oversees 1,674,254 non-discretionary accounts totaling $549.0 billion in AUM. The company's typical account size is $322,379. An average advisor at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc administers about 97 client accounts.

The company's main office is located at One Bryant Park, New York, New York 10036. It is registered to serve clients across 49 U.S. states and territories.

Assets Under Management

$797.3 billion

Number of Advisors

25,576

Fee Structure

Asset-based, Fixed, Commission-based

Disclosures

Yes

Office Location

One Bryant Park
New York, NY 10036

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc by the Numbers

Total Assets Under Management

$797.3 billion

National Average: $3.3 billion
Total Number of Employees

41,217

National Average: 4,943
Total Number of Accounts

2,472,247

National Average: 2,522
Average Account Size

$322.5 thousand

National Average: $1.3 million

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Products and Services

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc provides a number of services, including financial planning services, portfolio management for individuals and small businesses, portfolio management for pooled investment vehicles, portfolio management for institutional clients, pension consulting services, selection of other advisers and other services. In the prior financial year, the company provided 1,000 of its customers with financial planning services. The company is engaged in selling products or offering services different than investment advisory services to its customers. The company is also affiliated with a number of other service providers in the financial services industry, including with a broker-dealer or securities dealer, banking or thrift institution, trust company, insurance company or agency, pension consultant and commodity pool advisor.

Core Advisor Services

  • Offered by 45% of firms

    Financial Planning Services

    This is the process of planning for your financial future, including for events such as retirement, your child's college education or estate succession.

  • Offered by 63% of firms

    Portfolio Management

    This is the selection and management of an investment mix and portfolio strategy for individuals and small businesses.

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    Market Timing Services

    This is the practice of attempting to make short-term profits on investments by buying low and selling high.

Other Services

  • Offered by 23% of firms

    Selection of Other Advisors

    This is the firm's assistance with choosing other advisors to work with who may have different specialties.

  • Find a firm that offers this service

    Publication of Periodicals

    This is the publication of various financial education materials.

  • Find a firm that offers this service

    Educational Seminars/Workshops

    This is the hosting of seminars or workshops to educate investors on financial concepts.

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Fee Structure

Fees charged by financial advisors typically vary depending on the financial services provided. Fees charged by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc may include the following fee structures: asset-based, fixed or commission-based. The company participates in a wrap fee program, in which the firm offers a bundle of services for a comprehensive fee.

Available

  • Offered by 75% of firms

    Percentage of Assets

    Show Explanation

    This fee, which is the most common fee type charged by advisors for portfolio management, is based on the amount of assets you have under management. Also referred to as an asset-based fee, this fee typically ranges from 0.50%-2.00% of AUM annually. You'll typically pay a lower rate the more assets you have under management.

  • Offered by 3% of firms

    Commissions

    Show Explanation

    Occasionally, advisors earn commissions from selling financial products, such as securities or insurance policies, or making certain referrals or transactions. Advisors who earn commissions may be incentivized to make certain recommendations to clients in order to make a commission. Fee-only advisors do not earn commissions, while fee-based advisors may.

  • Offered by 40% of firms

    Fixed

    Show Explanation

    Fixed fees are a one-time, lump sum charged for a specific service, like the creation of a financial plan without subsequent implementation. This can be useful if you only need advice for one specific purpose, rather than a long-term advisor. Fixed fees usually range from $1,000 to $3,000.

Unavailable

  • Find one of the 37% of firms that offer this fee type

    Hourly

    Show Explanation

    Like a lawyer, a financial advisor may charge you by the hour. This can be helpful if you are only looking for short-term or one-time advice. Rates typically range from $100-$300 per hour, depending on the complexity and level of services needed.

  • Find one of the 17% of firms that offer this fee type

    Performance-based

    Show Explanation

    Advisors only earn performance-based fees if a portfolio outperforms a defined benchmark. This fee may be calculated in a number of ways but most commonly is charged as a percentage of investment profits. Performance-based fees may incentivize advisors to make riskier decisions in order to generate higher returns.

  • Find one of the 1% of firms that offer this fee type

    Subscription

    Show Explanation

    Firms generally charge this fee for educational materials provided, such as a monthly magazine. This can be useful if you want to learn about investing or financial management on your own.

  • Find one of the 12% of firms that offer this fee type

    Other

    Show Explanation

    Firms can sometimes charge customers using non-traditional fee structures. See this firm's Form ADV for more details.

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Types of Clients

The company works with a number of different clients. The firm caters to retail investors, high net worth investors, banking institutions, pension plans, charitable organizations, insurance companies and corporations. Out of its 2,472,247 clients, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc's largest client type by number of accounts is retail investors, although it also caters to 62,567 high-net-worth individuals. The SEC defines a high-net-worth individual as an individual who has at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of more than $1.50 million or who is deemed a "qualified purchaser" (a standard met by having at least $5 million in investments). Just 1% of the firm's customers are from outside of the U.S.

  • High-Net-Worth Individuals* - 4.75%
  • Other Individuals - 91.38%
  • Corporations - 3.5%
  • Charitable Organizations - 0.37%

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defines a high-net-worth individual as someone who has at least $750,000 under management.

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Disclosures

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc has disclosures.

Please visit its Form ADV for more details.

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Financial Advisors at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc

Katelyn Gallagher
Chandler, AZ
Brendan Ganji
Carmel, CA
Stephanie Springer
Vero Beach, FL
Damien Martinez
Tacoma, WA
Omar Khalil
Visalia, CA
Amy Sorrels
Saint Paul, MN
Janine Nebbia
White Plains, NY
Andrew Lavelle
Bala Cynwyd, PA
Kristin Wilson
Mansfield, TX

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This content was compiled from the SEC and FINRA