Bank of America Says Black Advisers Make Up 4.5% of Merrill Wealth Managers

Bank of America Corp. released data on the racial and gender makeup of its Merrill Lynch Wealth Management unit that shows diversity has increased from five years ago.

The company’s so-called thundering herd of more than 17,500 financial advisers includes:

  • Black wealth managers totaling 780, representing 4.5% of the bank’s adviser population, up from 2.5%
  • Hispanic or Latino advisers numbering 1,570, comprising 9% of the group, an increase from 6%
  • Female wealth managers totaling 3,650, or 21% of advisers, up from 18%

“Continuing to build the modern Merrill requires a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion,” Andy Sieg, president of the unit, said in a statement. “As both a moral and commercial imperative, our wealth-management business must reflect the diverse markets in the communities we serve.”

The division has created advisory councils and held events to support diverse talent, BofA said. Over the past 18 months, 54% of adviser hires have come from diverse backgrounds, up from 39% in 2017.

The figures were reported earlier Friday by Barron’s.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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