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As wealth management enters a new era, Merrill Lynch built an algorithm that matches clients with several suggested financial advisors – and it’s a boon for both consumers and the brokers itself. 

Merrill is betting that helping people connect with advisors based on their preferences will help it hook younger, more digital-centric customers – and build its brand.  

Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch is rethinking relationship building for its financial advisors. 

While clients historically find their advisors through referrals, the wire house has launched a matching algorithm that can pair them based on their stated preferences. Potential clients answer questions about their investing approach, financial needs, communication style, and personality, and then Merrill will automatically recommend at least five advisors that its algorithm has highlighted as a good fit.  

The speed and experience mimic the format of popular recommendation or matchmaking sites and cater to a younger, tech-centric set of clients that want to quickly connect with a representative that suits them. 

This algorithmically driven recommendation is meant to be a “warm experience” opposed to a cold lead, Merrill’s head of platforms and capabilities, Casey Franz, told American Banker.  

Beyond making the process of finding an advisor easy for a new generation of digitally savvy clientele, the system helps Merrill build stronger relationships. The hope is that if a given financial advisor leaves the firm, the client will use the recommendation engine to find another manager, instead of following their original one outside of Merrill.