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Friday, April 17, 2020

This Wirehouse Will Trim Its Fund Menu By Two Percent

News summary by MFWire's editors

Fundsters, be warned! At least one of the wirehouses may be trimming dozens of funds from its investment menu in the coming months.

Andrew M. Sieg
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Bank of America's Merrill Lynch Wealth Management team will soon, cut about two percent of the funds on its brokerage platform, Citywire and OnWallStreet report. With an estimated 2,000 funds available, that translates into cutting about 40 funds. Criteria for removal reportedly include high fees, low ratings, and niche categories.

"The changes we're making are focused on preserving client choice and access to brokerage, further mitigating or eliminating the potential for conflicts of interest in the brokerage space, enhancing client experiences and transparency, and continuing to demonstrate our commitment to putting their interests first," a Merrill spokeswoman told Citywire.

The move, Barron's notes, is one of many that the Mother Merrill team is putting in place in advance of the implementation of the SEC's regulation best interest (Reg BI). SEC Chairman Jay Clayton confirmed on April 2 that Reg BI will still take effect on June 30, as planned.

Other changes Merrill is reportedly planning include: faster conversion of old C shares into A shares (in five years instead of ten); levelized advisor comp for funds in the same category; and capping front-end loads at 350 basis points. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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