(Bloomberg) -- Bank of America's thundering herd of Merrill Lynch financial advisors is about to be joined by a robot.

The firm has put dozens of employees to work on an automated investment prototype for Merrill Edge, which targets accounts under $250,000, according to two people with knowledge of the project. Bank of America intends to unveil the service next year, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking about company plans.

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