For mutual fund sales powerhouse Merrill Lynch & Co., products must be simple. They have to be easy to explain to clients because the firm's financial advisers don't have the time to get into complexities.
For example, take Merrill Lynch & Co.'s wrap account business. It did $13 billion in sales in 2001, nearly double the $7 billion recorded in 1999. "This year the run rate is $30 billion in sales. The wrap fee guys figured it out," Chris Grady, director of sales and marketing for the Merrill Lynch Insurance Group told attendees at last week's National Association for Variable Annuities variable life conference in Dallas. "If the insurance industry can do the same, "you'll be so wealthy it'll be scary," he promised.