Merrill Searches for New Head of Training
Jennifer MacPhee, who runs Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s strategically important training program and is a Bank of America “market president,” is leaving the firm.
MacPhee, Merrill’s National Financial Advisor Development Program (FADP) Performance Executive since April 2019, confirmed in a brief interview that she will “retire” from Merrill and its parent bank company on September 1.
Merrill Lynch has seeded Wall Street with thousands of brokers that it trained. Its current 43-month program, which includes about 3,000 trainees, has grown in strategic importance since Merrill ended active recruiting of experienced brokers three years ago.
Graduation rates remain low, however, and the FADP program suffered a recent setback when Merrill discovered that neophyte brokers working from home during the pandemic have committed Do Not Call prospecting violations, according to a report in “Business Insider.”
MacPhee wrote in a July 31 memo that all FAPD candidates must stop contacting customers pending further training.
She and Merrill officials said her departure is not related to the alleged violations.
“We consistently review our policies, procedures and controls for potential enhancements, including with respect to call screening, in order to comply with regulatory requirements,” a Merrill spokesman wrote in an e-mail. “Our new training focuses in part on ensuring employees in our financial advisor training program properly employ enhanced call screening technology provided by the firm, as well as understand and adhere to call list policies and procedures.”
MacPhee’s successor at the training program and as president of BofA’s Albany/Hudson Valley market will be named in the coming weeks, he said.
“Jennifer embodies a modern Merrill leader, and has had an impressive career filled with impactful contributions and accomplishments,” Merrill Chief Operating Officer Kirstin Hill said in a prepared statement. “She spearheaded the transformation of advisor training, creating a national program with consistent hiring practices and performance management accountability to develop and retain advisors of the future.”
MacPhee has worked as a Bank of America brokerage manager since 2001, and has served as BofA’s Albany/Hudson Valley market president since 2005. She began her career as an accountant with Coopers & Lybrand in 1991 after graduating from Ithaca College, and also was a “private client advisor” at Key Bank before switching to BofA.