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Bank of America to Hire More Than 160 Financial Solutions Advisors Throughout Southern California and Arizona

New Merrill Edge Leaders Named for Region

Monday, December 12, 2011 12:00 pm EST

Dateline:

LOS ANGELES

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
BAC
"With the additions to our management team, we can ensure our FSAs in Southern California and Arizona are effectively bringing expertise closer to customers in our banking centers"

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bank of America today announced it is hiring more than 160 Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisors (FSAs) across Southern California and Arizona by the end of first quarter 2012. This includes hires in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and Phoenix, and will bring the total number of FSAs in banking centers to more than 250 in that region. In addition, 110 FSAs are also located in the Merrill Edge Advisory Center in Chandler, Arizona.

The hires are part of Bank of America’s overall commitment to enhance the solutions and guidance it offers to Preferred customers – those with investable assets of $50,000 to $250,000. These FSAs will provide the financial solutions and guidance customers need to help them manage their banking and investment needs and stay in better control of their finances.

“Preferred customers don’t typically fit the traditional model for a full-service financial advisor or private banker, and so they’re often underserved by financial institutions,” says Linda Shelby, West Division executive. “By placing more Merrill Edge FSAs in banking centers throughout the Southern California and Arizona, we will be able to offer our Preferred customers in-person attention and support with their saving, investing and financial planning.”

Preferred customers are among the fastest-growing segments in the financial services industry. Bank of America does business with more than 8 million Preferred customers and has unrivaled insight into their financial needs. According to the latest Merrill Edge Report, 57 percent believe it will be harder to save for the long term five years from now compared to today, while 27 percent feel that it will be equally as difficult to save five years from now as it is today. As a result, one in five (21 percent) reported that they have increased their savings in the last year.

This national trend is mirrored in Los Angeles, where 25 percent of respondents say they are saving more than a year ago. In addition, Los Angeles’ mass affluent say their number one financial regret is not contributing enough to their 401(k) or retirement savings (27 percent), followed by having too much credit card debt (20 percent).

New Merrill Edge regional leaders named

Bank of America also announced new Merrill Edge regional managers in Southern California to further assist Preferred customers with their unique financial needs. The group includes Gioia McCarthy in North Orange County; Will Smayda in Los Angeles; Nick Givogri in South Orange County; and Debra West in San Diego. Additional regional managers are planned in Phoenix, Ariz., and the Inland Empire area in California.

“With the additions to our management team, we can ensure our FSAs in Southern California and Arizona are effectively bringing expertise closer to customers in our banking centers,” Shelby said.

In support of its new Preferred service strategy, Bank of America is also working to enhance customer experience and satisfaction by:

  • Rolling out Platinum Privileges, which rewards customers who maintain $50,000 or more in deposit balances with Bank of America or investment balances with Merrill Edge with higher levels of service and comprehensive benefits across their banking and investing needs. Based on the success of a three-state pilot of Platinum Privileges that began earlier this year, Bank of America is beginning a national rollout of Platinum Privileges.
  • Continuing to improve the Merrill Edge offering, including the introduction of a mobile application for iPad, iPhone and BlackBerry earlier this year, and the addition of nearly 500 new no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds.
  • Hiring 1,000 small business bankers in local communities to provide small business customers with local specialists to address their complex financial needs. This includes more than 180 small business bankers for Southern California and nearly 30 in Arizona.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 58 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,700 retail banking offices and approximately 17,750 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Merrill Edge is the marketing name for two businesses: Merrill Edge Advisory Center, which offers team-based advice and guidance brokerage services; and a self-directed online investing platform. Both are made available through Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S).

MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation.

Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A. and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Investment products:

Are Not FDIC Insured   Are Not Bank Guaranteed   May Lose Value

© 2011 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom.

www.bankofamerica.com

Contact:

Reporters May Contact:
Don Vecchiarello, Bank of America, 1.980.387.4899
don.vecchiarello@bankofamerica.com