February 25, 2019

Bank of America is ditching the 105-year-old Merrill Lynch brand

Ten years after the financial crisis, Bank of America is phasing out the Merrill Lynch brand.

Bank of America said Monday that it will no longer use the Merrill Lynch name for its investment banking and trading divisions. Instead, these businesses will form a unit called BofA Securities.

The bank also said that its investment and wealth management offerings will become "Merrill" products, though the wealth management team's logo will still include Merrill Lynch's famous bull.

Bank of America scooped up Merrill Lynch in 2008 at the height of pandemonium on Wall Street. But Bank of America's commitment to the Merrill Lynch brand gave it a long afterlife. Names like Bear Stearns and Wachovia weren't so lucky.

In a statement, CEO Brian Moynihan said the changes would take place over the coming months.

US Trust, which Bank of America bought in 2007, will now be called the Bank of America Private Bank, the bank said.

Merrill Lynch was founded in 1914 by Charles Merrill and Edmund Lynch. The company grew into a massive retail brokerage that aimed to expose everyday investors to the stock market, and its brokers became known as the "thundering herd."

The bank also gained cachet on Wall Street for its investment banking arm.

Merrill Lynch was sold to Bank of America for $50 billion in September 2008.

Since then, the merged entity has soared in value, and Bank of America appears to believe it's time to move on.

The company brought in $7.3 billion in profit last quarter. Profits in 2018 hit $28.1 billion, a record.

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