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Bank of America to release Merrill Lynch names from some companies



  Bank of America plans to remove the Merrill Lynch name from its trading and investment banking business and transform most of its value creation management as Merrill only.

Bank of America plans to remove the Merrill Lynch name from its trading and investment banking business and recover the bulk of its value-added business as Merrill only.


Photo:

bobby yip / Reuters

Mother Merrill's father away.

Bank of America
Corp.


BAC 1.41%

plans to tell employees Monday that it will capture the name Merrill Lynch from some of the bank's businesses. Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America bought the big Wall Street firm over ten years ago.

Bank of America plans to remove the Merrill Lynch name from its trading and investment banking business, the leaders said. It will also recognize the majority of its value creation management as Merrill only. It is the most important companies that Bank of America bought in the deal when Merrill Lynch sold itself in a fire sale in the heat of the financial crisis in 2008.

Rebranding marks the end of an era. Merrill Lynch had a long story on Wall Street. Unlike other companies that were bought during the crisis, it managed to live on, in the name of at least, after the acquisition.

It also reflects how times have changed at Bank of America. The bank was once involved in various post-crisis problems to use energy to rename the big companies it bought. But now there is minting stable, record profits, partly by getting their various units to work together better.

"We continue to unite the company, continue down the road we started a decade ago," said CEO Brian Moynihan in an interview.

The investment bank, trading business and corporate customer trading units became known as "Bank of America Merrill Lynch" or BAML for short. The units that work with corporate customers will now go off Bank of America. The investment bank and trading business will be called BofA Securities.

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, the largest part of the bank's wealth business, will be renamed Merrill. The brand will remain in the logo. The US Trust, a 2007 securities management acquisition dealing with ultra-physical customers, will now be called the Bank of America Private Bank.

Write to Rachel Louise Ensign at rachel.ensign@wsj.com


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