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Our money was supposed to be invested. We were told the money was invested. We never received statements and tried to follow up and were pushed back that things take time. Months later, we received a statement that showed that not only had our money been sitting in cash for months, but we were being charged a fee for them to hold it in cash. Now we want to transfer the money and they do not want us to. They are not willing to invest it, which makes no sense to me at all. They just transfer us around and we always end up speaking to someone who says they are not the person we are supposed to talk to. I just want to transfer the money away from them. We are about 50 yrs old and never ever had this trouble with Fidelity in the 25 years we have used Fidelity.
This is a very honest review. I am using Merrill Edge for 1 year now as my primary broker for stocks primarily. The commission of this broker is at $6.95 per trade. The reason I am still with them is that I get 100 free trades per month thru their reward program (besides the free trades, everything else is a disaster). They been around for years, I am sure more than most of other competitors. Their trading platform (Marketpro) sucks big time. Very based web-based. All active traders should stay away from this disaster 100 miles away.
They have something called "Safepass", pretty much prior to entering a trade you have to get a code in your phone as SMS to verify the trade. You will definitely not going to get the entry you desire in a trade. There is no "HotKeys" to place orders. Everything has to go thru a manual entry with a verification step which takes few seconds to place any type of order. They don't have a good stock scanner tool. They brag about their research, yet they don't provide a premarket or aftermarket gappers list. Anyway, I am about to say goodbye to 100 free trades due to all other problems that come with those free trades. The 1 star is due to its free trades. Other than that it's a "ZERO".
Once again I am on hold waiting anyone to answer. They received and held funds from my disability checks without authorization, and now I cannot reach anyone for a disbursement of the funds. Just today I have been on hold well over an hour, and their website states disbursements cannot be done online. You can get account information online (as the recording has stated 100 times now) but can’t do anything with the information you find. I didn’t think anyone could do a poorer job than FI, ML proves otherwise. It’s frightening to learn that you really have no control over your own money, isn’t it!?
Since the passing of my mother-in-law last summer, Merrill Lynch has used every trick in the book over the past 6 months to keep my husband from his rightful inheritance. Stonewalling, sending us on all sorts of crazy wild goose chases, and the latest, "requiring" an IRS document for transfer of funds that the IRS has notified us that we do not require. They have $230,000 of our money, and reading the reviews on this site, I know that our experience is not unique. I always try to think the best of people, but it has become transparent that ML employees seem trained finds ways to keep beneficiaries from their inheritance, exploiting the pain, grief, and embarrassment tangled up in the process of having to "gravel" for a deceased family member's money. They are counting on us feeling this way!
They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Financial Investors have no fiduciary responsibility to their investors, meaning they cannot be held criminally liable for not having our best interests at heart. So what do they do? They same thing over and over to seemingly countless families, sit on our money long enough to earn fees for themselves until they are finally worn down and the fight is no longer worth it to them or threatened with legal action. Therein lies the problem. Once there is a lawsuit or once they finally hand over the money, there is literally nothing that can be done to punish them.
For six months, we've been waiting for a small partial payout (about $7000 times three people). These guys promise date after date, inching along by two days, then a week, then another two days, over and over. I guess they figure that if the payout is just around the corner, they won't get sued for no performance. However, each time the day arrives, they simply say they're not distributing the money, don't need to explain. We even took them to court here in Florida, they just gave them an extension, the date and time came and they did the same to him. No payment, no reason.
If pushed, they sometimes come up with some sort of undisclosed internal processing procedure that they claim to have just magically just "found" (Obviously, I believe that they generate this stuff when they need it.). For those of us who have relied on their word, we're losing everything, cannot pay for medical bills and more, but ML really doesn't care one bit. They keep holding on to customer’s money and are packaging and investing it to earn millions, just like they caused the 2009 depression. These guys believe they're above the law, and they obviously are. Don't invest money with them.
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Just wanted to post two annuities were placed within the IRA. Each annuity had its own fees in addition to the wealth manager's agreed upon monthly fee for the total IRA account. Ouch. Check those paper statements. Figured out the cost to have such a product did not make sense. There is an agreed upon timeframe for each annuity before you can dump it. There is a dollar penalty if you ask your wealth manager to dump a product before whatever date has been set on yours. Overall, the wealth manager does not want to dump an annuity within your account because of the commission they are making. Also, if you have one be sure to ask if it is transferable to spouse in the event of your death. Many are not. They are complicated and expensive. Requested advisor to get rid of annuities. He did it; he was not happy. I sure was!
Asked Merrill-Lynch to transfer 401k to a Fidelity IRA, and they only transferred part of the total. When called them back to ask what is going on, they now said had to fill out a form to transfer the rest and it would take 90 days to get the money! Sent form by mail and after 90 days - NO MONEY! Called them and was advised they didn't get the form and will have resubmit form to get the money and wait another 90 days! This firm should have been put out of business instead of being bought by Bank of America. They are the biggest fraudster on Wall Street. BUYER BEWARE!!
Terrible performance on managing over 1 million dollars. Then we I decided to move the funds from Merrill-Lynch to another investment service, Merrill-Lynch starting a stonewalling and slow work in actually transferring the funds. Got several calls from people I didn't even know asking about the transfer. One lady named Morgan actually said she would hold the printing of a check and wire the funds and she would wait for our wiring instructions. Got wiring instructions but when I contacted them back it was after 430 PM and they were closed. Called this morning August 28th and no one knew a thing and this person Morgan wasn't in today. As of now, I don't know where my money is.
If you or a loved one, use Glenn **, make sure and double check your paperwork, especially when it comes to transfer on death. One day, you will find out his assistant, Klair, mishandled the paperwork, filled out the paperwork wrong while Glenn was on vacation. Their manager will call you and admit a mistake was made, but will explain there is nothing they can do. The more you look into the financial advice that was given over the years to your family member, the more questions you start to generate. Thank you Glenn for your incompetence, you made a blatant $600,000 mistake and do not even have the honor to apologize, you have your manager clean up your mess.
Merrill Lynch has devolved into an incompetent bureaucratic organization that is unresponsive to customer needs. An attempt to close an account required numerous emails, phone calls, and requests from ML for paperwork that had been previously sent. When ML originally divided the account, they made a calculation error and left $42 in the account and did not close it. When the paperwork was finally complete, I was told that a $75 fee would be charged to close the account!!! Never ever choose this organization if you value your time or your money.
I moved my account from Sharebuilder as they were closing, by the way never had an issue with that broker to Merrill Edge. I joined because of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards which are nice. Read lots of reviews good and bad. I figured any major bank going to have some issues but it seems to be one after the other. They messed up my transfer that I had put in months before as I knew I was deploying and took weeks of calling every day for hours right up to the day before I was deploying for military duty to get fixed. Luckily I got one representative who understood and worked the issue to the end which was nice after going through 5 different ones before who did nothing but repeat same thing over and over. That was the start of issues. Now I can't reinvest dividends from certain companies which raises my taxes when paid as cash which is unacceptable and each representative gives same excuse with no real answer or fix.
There is no real way to submit a complaint or issue except to talk to a representative instead of sending a form or email or call to a complaint center which tells you they don't seem to care or hope it will get lost in the mess of representatives and hope you forget at that point. They have changed their low priced security policy which makes it even harder to buy the stocks you want. I will continue to try out the free trades which is the only positives of the preferred rewards program and hope things get better. If not I will transfer to a better broker and pay slightly higher fees for trades but get better use of my assets with less hassle. If you are thinking about joining I recommend going somewhere else. I miss ShareBuilder and starting to question if I should have let it go to E-Trade. The only benefit is the preferred rewards program but I am starting to question if it is worth it.
I started with Merrill-Lynch through an employer, but now that I have switched jobs, I wanted to rollover my 401k funds into account set up by my new employers. Should be easy right? In fact, I have rolled over my 401k 2 times prior. But Merrill-Lynch says my husband needs to fill out a Spousal Consent From for me to simply roll over my funds! Keep in mind, this is not withdrawing the funds, simply placing the funds into a different account. My husband and I were both confused by this so we looked into it, and its total BS!! Then I hear from a Tax Attorney that Merrill-Lynch is known for stunts like this. So if they do not allow me to roll over my account, I will be filing charges against them and screaming to everyone, everywhere about this!!
Merrill-Lynch gives you a hard time if you want to a hardship withdrawal from your 401k. It's my money and I should be able to withdraw it without being hassled by Merrill-Lynch. ML gets $45 every time they do a transaction, whether they approve your hardship withdrawal or not. Then they will not make a decision on your withdrawal until 10 business days after the necessary paperwork was received. After the application is approved, they make you wait another 4 days before they will release the funds and send the check to you. So you have to wait 14 days before they release the money plus however long it takes the post office to deliver your check. By this time, you have waited approximately 3 weeks for your money to be delivered to you. I asked a Merrill-Lynch rep why did the process take so long. Her reply was so that people can find another source to get money from instead of getting it from their 401k account.
I am on H1B and a customer with Bank Of America for 4+ years. Based on my credits and balances the banks suggested me giving an offer to open investment account with Merrill Edge. Someone from Merrill Edge called me directed me to open the account. He didn't say that only US citizens and Permanent residents can open a account. After all the forms filled, at last he said to me that people in H1B open an account. I have never seen such restrictions with any other stock-brokers. I then moved my money to Fidelity/E-trade/Robinhood and started using trading without any problem. I suggest Merrill Edge to remove this junk rule. Anybody who has an SSN/ITIN with a valid working permit. Alas, you lost a stock trader. :)
Soon after Bank of America took over Merrill-Lynch, our agent stop calling us with regular updates. We rarely got him when we tried to contact them. At one point, our account had a lot of Apple stock during the run to 700. We called and requested that he put some trailing stop to protect us should the stock drop. The stock was in the mid 600s at that time. We were assured that it would be taken care of. When Apple's stock dropped to the mid 300s weeks later, we were relieved that we had requested that. We came to find out that the agent never did and the portfolio dropped in value significantly, causing calls on orders and loans, which required the sale of existing stocks to cover. The portfolio was devastated and is worthless today. Their incompetence cost us an over $1,000,000 portfolio and we are still trying to get reparations in court.
However, since they require that you agree to arbitration rather than a jury trial, the advantage is theirs. Additionally, despite the fact that they routinely record telephone conversations, they do not have recording for ours. So, we are struggling to find a lawyer willing to try to fight a he said/she said with a corporation. We won't give up, but it is costly and money is tight. The irony isn't lost on me that we can't afford to get justice for the money they lost us because we don't have the money to pay for it because they lost it. I doubt that this will accomplish anything but if it saves one person from the greed and incompetence of Merrill-Lynch, then I will feel successful.
When I talked to someone who worked at the Merrill-Lynch department of BoA, I was told that my (financial) interests would be put first. When I had my taxes done, my tax attorney understood more than I understood that was on the Merrill-Lynch tax statement. From what my attorney said to me, I get the impression the guy who did the trading, had more of an interest in himself (his income at my expense), than MY income! With the (high) commission Merrill-Lynch makes, the (HUGE) cost of trades, and my taxes from my Merrill-Lynch investments, I probably LOST money, last year!
I am sort of forced to have Merrill-Lynch be the custodian of my 401K, it not my choice. I was trying to get funds for my daughter's tuition, she ran out of funds and got a letter from her financial aid office. It was VERY detailed, it included the information about what semester the tuition was for, what payments were missed, who was CC'd, my daughter student ID, their name, number position, everything BUT they didn't date it at the top. They said they needed a date on it from the last 60 days to show it was for the current semester. What part of having spring 2018 semester, the missed payment dates, and when they needed to be paid by was so ambiguous?
They simply wanted to deny it because every time you apply whether the loan is approved or not they get $45. So I had to go back to student accounting ask that they add the date, RE-APPLY and now I'm delayed further and I get to pay ANOTHER $45. They simply are money hungry crooks, what would expect from a bank that was fined and fined repeatedly for errors during the mortgage crisis, Bank of America will never learn.
Wednesday Feb. 17, 2016 C invited his firm to his house. He needed the whole firm present for a business transaction to take place. Neal ** (Tuke), Casey **, Scott **, and Lori **. C communicated to Tuke about his house. Tuke repeated to C he wanted to pay his mortgage off, C replied yes. Tuke offered to C if he wanted to cash out his investment insurance accounts to satisfy his debt. C replied yes.
Tuke then reassured C he would take care of his transaction. Feb 19, 216 Tuke came back to the residence to visit, he was waiting to see C as others were visiting also. C passed away from M.S. on Feb, 21, 2016. I spoke with Tuke a week after C death and he never honored C transaction, because he stated he needed a document signed??? Complete NEGLIGENCE. Has zero excuses, Tuke was in the house 2x in that week. I witness 5.5 years of active activity at this house with this firm. C was paralyzed from the neck down from M.S. Every transaction was made verbal!!
I had a duplicate transaction that was paid to one of the government websites. I called Bank of America twice to remove the duplicate payment but they advised me to send a fax to Merrill-Lynch ACH services. I waited 2 weeks with no response then I called the bank twice to check what happened but they advised me to call again and wait for extra week. Then I received a rejection letter that has nothing to read in it. No one took the time or bothered to ask more info or go and check my account to see that there is an actual duplicate transactions that was made in the same day and time. I called the bank again and after the guy talking for half an hour with Merrill-Lynch he told me that it was rejected because the transaction was approved by me and they cannot ask for refund for the duplicate payment because case was CLOSED.
There is a LACK of communication between Bank of America and Merrill-Lynch as if they called to check my account. They would see that I actually have 2 payment and needed to refund one of them but looks like drinking coffee and chatting with each other is what they were paid to do so why bother and do your job that you were paid for? And something else usually BOF sends me an email to express my feedback about any call I make but this specific time I have not received any email to write what happened so what do you call that? Very disappointed at BOA and Merrill-Lynch and too bad I am their customer since 12 years. It's time to find better bank that solve their customers' problem and respect them.
Merrill after giving me false information refused to bust a bond trade. They actually called the police on me, then suggested I was dumb and that I should turn my money over to them for their managed account. This is outrageous. The worst service ever? Crooks, rude, cruel. I had a $365,000 account. Please for God sake go with other brokerages.
My mother passed in September of 2016. The benefits department stated that they would contact us if there were any assets that we needed to deal with. Never got a contact but when I was doing taxes found a HSA controlled by them. I contacted Merrill Lynch and they stated that it would take up to 8 weeks to receive the paperwork. It was not received. When requested a second time it was sent to a wrong address. Once it was filled out they decided there was an error but the letter was sent to the wrong address again, so now that the estate has been settled they require that it is reopened to resolve their incompetence. Will never deal with them again, totally incompetent.
Please do not hire the Merrill-Lynch, Athens, Georgia team that is led by Joe **. There are some serious concerns on business conduct, professionalism, services, and interpersonal relations. In the course of many years, my experiences have been predominantly negative: 1) Amanda ** and Angela **, two of the team's lower staff do not do their job or provide their services regularly. Experiences with ability to wire transfer money is inconsistent, no communication, even following up does not help. Angela ** also put me on hold for about 20 minutes without informing me when we were on a conference call with a Bank of America agent. Joe **, who is presently leading the team never consults on your portfolio.
I have raised it with Sabrina ** who holds a senior position who not only did not help, her response was to go somewhere else in lieu of actually showing up and doing the work they are contractually bounded and committed to do. Baseline services are regularly not met, and as a client you are wasting your time with a business team that is dysfunctional and incompetent in their business services more often times than not. From my experiences, do not hire the Athens GA team because you will not be supported.
My brother died, but prior to his death, he transferred this entire acct of money to another financial institution. As his personal rep of his financial affairs, I called Merrill-Lynch (ML) 2 months (6/2017) after his death to ascertain that he had no open accts with ML; they confirmed his acct was closed after I provided them a copy of his death certificate and my Milwaukee County domiciliary letter naming me as his personal rep and it not expiring until 12/2018. In 9/2017, ML sent me a letter notifying me of an open acct. When I reminded them of my on-file domiciliary letter from Milwaukee Cty, they told me that it is not valid since it's 2 months old from when I filed it with them.
Apparently, my brother has a dividend which ML cannot provide me until I fly back to Milwaukee and get the domiciliary letter stamped with a new date, which would cost me about $500, despite my domiciliary letter being valid until 12/2018. Ridiculous! When one considers that this financial institution retaining dividends after people die, they save for themselves a LOT of Money! They refuse to tell me how much the dividend consists of until I get the domiciliary letter date re-stamped. I WILL NEVER ALLOW ML TO USE MY MONEY! GREEDY!!!
I had my bank, B o A to make a face to face appt with me at BOA on Grand Ave and 107 Ave... anyways I was there and the Merrill-Lynch/Edge Advisor, Andy (in offices on Bell Rd) was Not! This appt was made about 3 weeks ago and made by BOA! I will Not talk to someone on the phone and just hand over thousands of $ that would make me a stupid fool!! What has happened to customer service, seriously! I talked with Andy (financial advisor) on the phone while I was waiting at BOA, he has the audacity to say, "I thought it was scheduled for another time", Seriously with the 3 confirmation emails and voicemails I had received, reminding me of the appt… I'm most definitely NOT doing ANY business with Merrill-Lynch/Edge, since there's soo much incompetence. BEWARE.
I opened an account with 6 figures to get the 100 free trades per month. I planned to write a lot of naked options, mostly puts. It took far too long to get the funds recognized in the account, delaying the start of trading while the money sat idle. Then was told I needed an additional 50% deposit to trade options; lost more time but did move more money to the account. Then was told that the free trade offer was not valid for option trading, after making several trades and not only not getting free trades, but charged above market prices for the option trades I did make.
Despite multiple attempts to arrange free trades, I could not even get promised return calls. Along the way I was met with long hold times, reps that could not address or resolve issues, passed buck and multiple transfers to other departments, the failure of my original contact rep to return calls, inability to contact the options trading people directly, failure to be given e-mail addresses, supervisors to whom issues were raised that did not call me. You get the idea. I have lost countless hours and had large sums of money sitting idle for weeks.
I finally closed out the few positions I had taken and tried to transfer the money out (I've had enough) only to get a message there weren't sufficient funds to make the transfer (I asked for all the funds to be transferred). I give up!! DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH MERRILL-LYNCH, P.S. I also closed the BAC savings and checking accounts I had opened (a laborious process) and have stopped using the credit card. I also closed the grandchild's account I had opened (one of several I had planned). I have already opened accounts at Schwab and funded them for my grandchildren. Now if I can ever get my money back from ML, I will be placing it in my Schwab account.
ML "wealth management" advisors do not care. They put you in products that provide the greatest benefit for an advisor. It is about them keeping your money on their books; not acting in your best interests. If you want to withdraw or increase the amount of your withdrawals; plan to be met with resistance. They forget it is "your" money. You will have to work hard against your "wealth management" advisor for changes you want; especially if you have signed the paper "advisor discretion". It can always be pulled back by requesting a "client discretion" account. You will need to sign new papers. Run, Run from ML wealth management. Do not recommend. P.S. If they recommend to put your IRA into a "Trusteed IRA" again, run away from this product too!
Updated on 08/14/2018: While this account was under "advisor discretion" an account was added without my husband's approval. The advisor added an LMA Account (Leverage Management Account) only available through Merrill. Upon noticing a new account appeared when reviewing online, we contacted the advisor to inquire what this was; he advised "well, if you are travelling and want to buy a property and put down a deposit you can just use this account". My husband advised he had not authorized it and to close it immediately! Huge RED flag. This same advisor had been pushing hard for us to open a credit card and move our banking. We never did. Most likely there are financial incentives to his benefit. Not yours.
The great news is three new advisors were interviewed by phone, then face to face, and references requested. My account has moved out of Merrill and it is the best decision I have made. The account had been at Merrill for 13 years. There are many assumptions made by a wealth management advisor that your account will remain when a spouse passes. The statistics are 70% of the spouses move their accounts; this one has moved.
Lastly, be sure to review any potential or current advisor at FINRA broker check. This advisor had in his history a ding on his record. As well as two of his peers in his current group both had dings in theirs. It is important also to be sure the client associate that will interact with you on your account be "registered". One of the recent client associates he brought in was not. It took her a year to get "registered"; passing exams. This advisor had been through four client associates over the 13 years, as well as his group kept changing. The registered Client Associate will also be reflected on the FINRA broker check site. Take the time. Do your homework. Merrill-Lynch does not care; and is not the only option. Be smart. It is your money.
Like a lot of people we have accounts spread out all over the place. Old 401k's some places, old IRA's others, so we were looking for a place to have everything. We moved most accounts to Fidelity, but can't ever get any cash out. So we decided on Merrill Edge with BoA. I went into the branch, which was very Customer Service oriented, to speak with the Merrill Edge guy. He was helpful, said that everything I had asked for would be met, a matching trade fee of $4.95, easy account set up, and account transfer, etc. I opened the accounts online, and funded 1 account. Then I started getting phone calls every other day for the remaining accounts. After the Fidelity move I wanted to try before I buy.
I tried trading with Merrill, none of the "Executed trade amounts" were what was posted to my account. When I tried to chat with them, the chat timed out. When I called in they said they were having an issue with that today, but this happened last week. So now I've emailed what I have, and it will come down to if I can prove that they aren't posting it correctly. Their Customer Service is lacking. I have a guy that I can contact via email, which was important to me because that is what we had at Fidelity and really the only reason we stayed there so long, but his replies are usually call this number or that number. Whereas before he would find the answer & get back to me via email. I guess I should have known, but the bad reviews didn't match our branch's customer service, but maybe when I couldn't open a joint account online for BoA. My husband and I had to go to the branch together, which is next to a impossible for us. We got it done, and now I'll be closing it.
My broker allowed my Loan Management Account to exceed the amount stated on the Merrill-Lynch website. In order to pay off the loan I am now destitute. The investments did well but the loan management account debt burgeoned way beyond what it should have. I am ill and counted on my broker to guide me and he ignored the impact of the LMA to my assets. Do NOT use Merrill-Lynch for anything. If you already do and a Loan Management Account is recommended to you RUN.
My father passed away over a year ago and the transfer team at Merrill Lynch has still not transferred the money to my account, despite numerous forms, calls, and assurances on their part that they have taken care of it. Every time I call I get a different person (never the actual case manager for the account) and they all tell me something different. There's always some excuse: another form needs to be filled out, another detail needs to be given, the receiving bank is to blame, etc., etc. etc. I am really starting to wonder if their policy is to drag out the distribution process so that they can continue to make money off of their client's investments for as long as possible.
This brokerage firm is all about fraud and no proper compliance process when approving online account application. I'm a reward BOA customer thus get free trades with them. As such I decided to open a new SEP account with them and provided my updated home address. They approved my online application without issue and asked me to transfer the money immediately. Once I transferred money to their account during weekend, I logged back into my brokerage account on next Monday and found they locked me out of my accounts access saying they would need various documents with proof of address. I asked them why this compliance procedure didn't happen before account opens and before I transferred my money to them. The supervisor admit the process shouldn't work this way however nothing he could do.
I then sent all required documents to clear so called "in compliance" and after a whole day long, speaking to 7 associates including 2 supervisors, nothing has been done from their end at all even though it was easy review and unlock process. There was no professional customer service as some associates said I should be getting my access back by the end of day while at the end of day, when it was not done as committed, I was told by other associates that it may take 5-7 days to clear it!!!! AND THIS AFFECTS A BROKERAGE ACCOUNT. If you think you can afford to take all loss and risk associated with not getting into your brokerage account for 7 days due to a minor address change, just go ahead with them. I may have to wait for 7 more days but then that's it. I will cancel every single accounts with them ASAP when I have my account back.
Merrill Lynch expert review by Barbara Friedberg
Merrill Lynch is owned by Bank of America, one of the world’s leading financial institutions. The company serves approximately 47 million consumers and small businesses and has 4,700 retail financial centers.
Services: As a part of the Bank of America family, Merrill Lynch offers an unparalleled menu of financial services. Their offerings include banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. Merrill Lynch has offices and representatives across the world and is accessible in the U.S. and globally.
Products: The company has a unique approach to serving their clients. The website answers the “products” question by first asking consumers to outline what they are looking for, i.e. “I want ongoing financial advice and guidance designed to help me meet my goals,” or “I need to budget for steady income in retirement.” Their client fact sheet outlines a variety of investment strategy approaches. Merrill Lynch has access to all types of financial products through their large network.
Educational and client resources: Their “Research and Insights” portal provides cutting edge investing commentary by professional analysts and financial journalists. The individual advisors guide investors through all of the financial questions.
Best for: The newly wealthy, those experiencing family and/or household changes, consumers looking for a financial advisor to guide them through their life planning money goals, the financially unsavvy and business owners.
Merrill-Lynch Company Information
- Company Name:
- Merrill Lynch
- Year Founded:
- 250 Vesey Street
- New York
- Postal Code:
- (800) 637-7455