BofA Hires 180 Advisers in N.J.

Bank of America has hired 180 financial advisers to join the Merrill Edge wing of the banking giant.   

The new hires bring the total number of Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisors (FSAs) in New Jersey to 320.  Last month, the bank hired 40 FSAs to work in the Mid-Atlantic region (see “BofA Hires Nearly 40 Advisers for Merrill Edge”).   

This news comes on the heels of BofA’s announcement that it will be laying off 30,000 employees as part of a $5 billion cost-cutting goal by the end of 2013; the lay-offs are part of “Project New BAC,” (so-named after the company’s ticker symbol), which also included the dismissal of Sallie Krawcheck (see “BofA Advisers Get New Boss in Management Shakeup”).

BofA says Merrill Edge FSAs provide financial solutions and guidance to help “Preferred customers” manage their banking and investment needs and stay in better control of their finances. The bank plans to nearly double the number of FSAs nationally, to more than 1,000, by the end of 2011.

Bank of America said it is also working to enhance customer experience and satisfaction by:

  • Rolling out Platinum Privileges, which rewards customers who maintain $50,000 or more in deposit balances with Bank of America or investment balances with Merrill Edge with higher levels of service and comprehensive benefits across their banking and investing needs. Based on the success of a three-state pilot of Platinum Privileges that began early this year, Bank of America is beginning a national roll-out of Platinum Privileges, with expansion to New Jersey beginning this month.
  • Continuing to improve the Merrill Edge offering, including the introduction of a mobile application for iPad, iPhone and BlackBerry earlier this year, and the addition of 481 new no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds.
  • Introducing specialty stores that provide in-person access to investment, small business and mortgage specialists and use technologies such as video conferencing.
  • Hiring 1,000 small business bankers in local communities to provide small business customers with local specialists to address their complex financial needs. Together with the 1,000 FSAs, this will create a 2,000-plus person team dedicated to the more complex needs of Preferred and Small Business customers.