Merrill and USC Introduce Longevity Training Program for Financial Advisers

Merrill Lynch and the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology announced a training program that provides insight into the opportunities and challenges of increasing longevity.

Designed to help its financial advisers and retirement specialists better understand and address the evolving needs of the nation’s aging population and their families, Merrill Lynch, in conjunction with the University of Southern California (USC) Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, is launching its longevity training program for financial advisers.

Merrill Lynch, provider of wealth management and investment services, intends for program participants to learn about the importance of and issues associated with longevity. Participants are provided information about the latest advances, research and experiences in the field of gerontology, which includes the sociological, psychological and physiological aspects of aging. Merrill Lynch Clear, helping people navigate to and throughout retirement, defines seven life priorities: health, home, family, giving, leisure, work and finances.

“We’ve partnered with one of the nation’s most prestigious universities, and a pioneer in the study of gerontology, to help ensure that our advisers and specialists have a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges presented by increasing longevity,” says David Tyrie, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Greater knowledge of and appreciation for various aspects of aging helps us better connect with our clients, address concerns, and achieve their desired outcomes leading up to and through retirement.”

The program consists of approximately 12 hours of training over the course of four to eight weeks, providing participants with on-demand videos featuring USC professors, online courses and reference materials, as well as Web-based best practice presentations and knowledge sharing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch experts. Additionally, participants complete scored assessments of content knowledge and application skills. Upon completion of the program, participants receive a certificate from USC and up to nine continuing education credits for Certified Financial Planner, Certified Investment Management Analyst or Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor professional designations.

A preliminary group of 50 Merrill Lynch financial advisers and specialists began participating in the program in January. The program will be available to all firm advisers and specialists in April, and then extended in May to include human resource (HR) and benefit plan professionals at companies for which Bank of America Merrill Lynch provides retirement and benefit plan services.