The Chandler call center of Bank of America’s Merrill Edge investment service will be expanding the number of its investment advisors by about 50 percent over the course of 2013. The office, open since 2010 to serve the “mass affluent” segment (who invest $50,000 – $250,000), currently employs 197 investment professionals.
According to Mike Nannini, the division sales executive responsible for sales operations at the call centers, the availability of prospective employees for the Chandler office is very good because of the nearby colleges and universities that allow for active recruiting and because of the good-sized local financial services industry and its pool of investment professionals with a securities license and experience. It is from the latter group that Merrill Edge is looking to hire at the present time.
This expansion is part of Merrill Edge’s growth strategy in what it sees as the future of the brokerage industry — allowing people to be self-directed through its online and mobile platforms and also have access to advice by working with one of its financial solutions advisors in select BofA branches or over the phone. Phone service is “the primary destination for new hires,” Nannini says.
The primary reason to bolster staff at the Chandler office is to help cover the national operation’s extended hours (7:30 a.m. – 1 a.m. Eastern Time), allowing “more time to interact with people on the West Coast,” says Nannini. The Chandler call center operates from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. when the rest of the country is on Daylight Time and till 11 p.m. everyone is back on Standard Time.