Merrill Lynch Brokers See Shrunken Bull As Line In The Sand

As many of you will recall, back in 2008, then Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis agreed to buy Merrill Lynch. While it wasn’t a Countrywide-level disaster of an acquisition (i.e. a bomb that’s never stopped going off), it wasn’t Lewis’s best laid plan, which is why he actually tried to get out of the deal at the 11th hour, only to be told by former Fed Chair Hank Paulson that if he wanted to keep his legs, he’d go through with it. The merger didn’t sit right with a large contingent of Merrill brokers, but they chose to go along with it for the greater good. Still, they made a solemn swear to each other that they’d fight even the smallest perceived slight to their brand and five plus years after the deal went through, they’ve kept their word.

A new tweak to Merrill Lynch advisers’ business cards earlier this year was all it took to cause a stir among some brand loyalists among the firm’s approximately 13,700 advisers. Several current and former Merrill Lynch brokers and industry recruiters pointed to two key changes: the shrinking of the iconic Merrill Lynch bull on the front of the cards and the addition of a red and blue strip at the bottom symbolizing Bank of America’s two-tone flag.

“Not only are the colors of the bank’s flag at the bottom (front) of the card, but the Merrill Lynch bull is getting smaller,” said one veteran Merrill Lynch adviser, who is based in New England and had been with the firm since before the Bank of America merger. “It’s very uncomfortable.”

So here’s what. Unless BofA wants a load of unhappy Merrill brokers on its hands, someone will get on the horn with the printers and put in a rush job for new cards that includes a bull that:

1. Spans the height and width of the card

2. Is drawn with painstaking detail and is anatomically correct

3. Is triumphantly riding whatever the Bank of America mascot is (a flag?), across the card

If you need a sketch, someone can provide a mockup that was done on a cocktail napkin last night at the Blarney Stone while bitching about BofA brass.

Do Merrill Lynch’s new business cards diss the brand? [Investment News via Matt]

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29 Responses to “Merrill Lynch Brokers See Shrunken Bull As Line In The Sand”

  1. Jack Torce says:

    These Merrill guys have a lot of balls. Anyone who knows anything about the last 7-8 years knows that Merrill was dead to rights. They were next in line to fall right after Lehman. They should just shut the fuck up about it and move on with their lives. Other than that I have zero concerns

  2. guest says:

    a bull triumphantly riding Ken Lewis across the card would also work.

  3. guest says:

    Get. A. Hobby.

  4. charlie says:

    The brokers should just go work for HFT's! There is more money in front running trade flow than commissions.

  5. Im_a_Dude says:

    Thanks Matt.

  6. Paddy says:

    When the last Blarney Stone closes, it is time to leave NY

  7. MC Charlotte says:

    My balls are like raisins….mom's spaghetti…..merrill lynch bombs are ready…..

  8. WWI Afficionado says:

    …Blarney Stone has cocktail napkins

  9. Guest says:

    Get the fu*k over it, you work for BofA.
    Take your lapel pin, your spirit points and go back to your office and sell your clients some annuities, structured notes and checking accounts.

  10. Guest says:

    Your a grand old flag. Your a high flying flag. And forever in peace may you wave. Your the emblem of, the company I love, home of the free and the brave.

    -Carl, BofA lifer in retail bank operations.
    Charlotte, NC

  11. Guest says:

    How about the bull getting fucked in the ass by Ken Lewis and Angelo Mozilo fucking him in the ass at the same time?

  12. ML Broker says:

    (jersey voice)
    I'm not trying to oversell you bro, but you gotta get in this new investment opportunity. It's Merrill lynch exclusive- this new app called Yo- its going to blow up bro, get in on the ground now

  13. pokey gasbagarino says:

    Do you have the Merrill Mafia clogging up the pipes at your firm? I suggest a gigantic dose of ex-lax to do the trick.

  14. TheodoreBallgamePhD says:

    Merrill Lynch. One of the last great financial brands, right after UBS and Edward Jones.

  15. Meagain says:

    that is Bullshit!

  16. Rebecca M. says:

    "former Fed Chair Hank Paulson that if he wanted to keep his legs, he’d go through with it"

    Funk you Bess

    -B Bernanke