Wealth Management: Merrill Advisor Match Transforms How Investors Find Financial Advisors

Merrill Wealth Management launched Merrill Advisor Match, a research-based, digital platform that “connects people seeking financial advice with a Merrill financial advisor who best fits their preferences and needs.”

Data shows there is “a need for a modern approach for finding an advisor.” A third of affluent Americans “are not working with an advisor today.”

They cite the following reasons why:

  • 22% say they don’t know how to find the right advisor,
  • 14% say reaching out to an advisor is intimidating, and
  • 10% say they can’t find one who understands their unique needs.1

Merrill Advisor Match “solves for this need by offering a simple set of questions to answer, serving up a personalized list of advisors and providing the option for the prospect to digitally schedule a meeting with the advisor of their choice.”

Andy Sieg, President of Merrill Wealth Management, said:

“We’ve combined a century of bringing Wall Street to Main Street with a personalized digital experience that takes the guesswork out of finding the right advisor. Merrill Advisor Match is an industry-changing innovation that reflects our modern Merrill strategy, helping to connect more investors to advice from the best advisors in the industry.”

According to a recent Merrill survey, affluent Americans “prioritize working with an advisor who matches their communication style (90%) and personality (83%) nearly as much as one who delivers financial results (93%).”

The intuitive questionnaire and technology behind Merrill Advisor Match “were developed and informed by in-depth interviews, focus groups, and quantitative surveys with advisors and clients.”

The tool “matches people to advisors based on multiple dimensions,” including:

  • Engagement preferences to understand how a prospective client would like to meet and interact with their advisor (e.g., frequency of meetings, proximity to advisor, level of proactivity);
  • Guidance style to assess prospective clients’ preference on how they communicate with their advisor, receive recommendations and how decisions are reached; and
  • Personality traits to inform the best client-advisor pairing (e.g., introvert vs. extrovert, approach to problem solving).

Kirstin Hill, Merrill Chief Operating Officer, remarked:

“Recommendations from family and friends will forever be an important way people are introduced to an advisor. However, most people who aren’t working with an advisor, 62%, would be the first in their family to have an advisor relationship. For those who don’t have a connection in their personal network, Merrill Advisor Match uses research and qualitative analysis to break down barriers to professional financial advice.”

The new tool is “becoming available at a time when the demand for financial advice is high.”

The combination of the global pandemic “coupled with the most volatile markets in decades, is accelerating the desire for affluent Americans to find an advisor they can trust to help them achieve their goals.”

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