BofA Hires Financial Solutions Advisors Across the Southeast

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Bank of America today announced the hiring of more than 25 Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisors (FSAs) across the Southeast region, including Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville.

It's all part of BofA's expansion of the division that offers financial advice to mass affluent clients, or those with between $50,000 and $250,000 in investable assets.

FSAs manage investment and banking solutions. The most recent hires are part of Bank of America's plan to nearly double the number of Financial Solutions Advisors nationally, to more than 1,000 by the end of 2011.

The mass affluent, or what BofA refers to as "Preferred" customers, are among the fastest-growing segments in the financial services industry.

According to a press release e-mailed to eFinancialCareers, Bank of America already serves more than 8 million of these customers. A recent Merrill Edge survey found that the top priorities for these customers include wanting a better retirement than their parents (85 percent), having access to both banking and investing solutions (73 percent) and the ability to track and manage their money (72 percent).

"Preferred customers have their own set of unique financial needs, but have traditionally been underserved by typical retail offerings," said David Giancola, Merrill Edge Southeast regional sales manager. "By placing more Merrill Edge FSAs in banking centers throughout the country, we are better equipped to help our customers address their specific needs. They'll now have the benefit of personal attention from an accessible specialist."

The new Preferred service category also receives some special services:

-A rewards program called Platinum Privileges, for customers who maintain $50,000 or more in deposit balances with Bank of America or investment balances with Merrill Edge. This is currently available in 12 states, including Georgia and North Carolina.

-A mobile app for iPads, iPhones and BlackBerries.

-The addition of approximately 500 new no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds.

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