Merrill Lynch clients who would prefer to see their investment and bankingdetails by watching a short video ratherthan combing through multiple PDFs,apps and screens across multiple financial services firms now have that optionwith the launch of the company’s DigitalWealth Overview tool.
Digital Wealth Overview is a three-minute, highly personalized, interactive video presentation that is narratedby Erica, Merrill parent company Bankof America’s virtual assistant. Merrillbelieves it is the first company in thewealth management industry to leverage personalized videos, it said.
With the push of a button, Merrillfinancial advisors can send the DigitalWealth Overview video to a client withreal-time information securely, according to the company, which provided
Investment Advisor with a demo.
The new video tool was rolled outto clients March 29, along with WealthOverview Personal Wealth Summary(PWS), a new report that supports comprehensive discussions between advisor and clients by combining data fromall of the client’s Merrill and Bank ofAmerica accounts and also accountsheld away from Merrill at other firms,the company said.
“Wealth Overview is a new waythat we’re going to engage clients whoare enrolled” in the firm’s fee-based,fiduciary investment advisory program (IAP), said Carl Swanson, head ofAdvisor and Client Experience in theInvestment Solutions Group at Bankof America.
A DIFFERENTIATING TOOL
The company developed WealthOverview in response to feedbackfrom advisors and clients, and presentsanother way for Merrill to differentiateits offerings from rivals, he said.
The product presents clients withdata from all their Merrill accounts“in a single, consolidated view” thatincludes investment advisory accounts,brokerage accounts and banking accounts they have with Merrilland Bank of America, along with anyaccounts they have at other companiesthat they give the company permissionto include, he explained.
“This holistic view definitely supports more comprehensive discussionsbetween advisors and clients, and presents the ability to drill deeper into assetallocation [and] holding performance oftheir IAP accounts so that IAP is considered in the context of the client’s overallfinancial picture,” he said.
PWS will “replace the portfolio
summary in existing reports that we
already send to clients,” such as wel-
come kits for new IAP clients and the
report that an advisor sends to a client
after an annual review is completed, he
noted. The existing portfolio summary
only reviewed the client’s IAP account
details, he added.
“Advisors will be able to create these[new] reports for clients on an ad hocbasis as they see fit throughout the year,”he said.
Unlike PWS reports, Digital WealthOverview videos will not be automatically sent to clients, he noted, explaining: “Advisors will decide which clientsthey would like to send it to and when.Because it’s basically a new way of communicating with clients and it’s digitaland it’s a video, we wanted to give thepower to advisors to determine whenand how to use this particular tool.”
Digital Wealth Overview will bedelivered securely by advisors to theirclients’ MyMerrill accounts, which canbe accessed via Android and iOS mobiledevices as well as desktop browsers, he
By Jeff Berman
Merrill Launches Account Overview
Videos for Clients
Also, advisors lose 19% of client assets, on average, when they change
firm affiliations, on top of planned attrition, Cerulli found.