John Thain, chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch, said the reaction of his firm’s “thundering herd” of more than 16,000 financial advisers to the Bank of America sale has been almost 100% positive.

Speaking at a press conference at Bank of America's headquarters in New York City Monday morning, Thain said the deal provided Merrill brokers with access to Bank of America’s customer base, particularly the “sweet spot” of investors with net worths of between $500,000 and $5 million.


Thain said he sees “a lot of opportunities and a lot of leads,” as well as a “stable base to work from” once the $50 billion deal is completed.

Ken Lewis, Bank of America’s chief executive officer, said he recognized that the wealth management business was the “crown jewel of Merrill Lynch.” He added that Merrill had “created the best wealth management organization in the world” and he intended to “keep the name and organization intact.”


Under the terms of the $50 billion all-stock deal, the Merrill Lynch and Bank of America wealth management divisions will be combined under the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management name.


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