Merrill Lynch introduces 'relationship statement' tool

Source: Addison

Merrill Lynch has launched a new monthly statement that enables clients to view all their Merrill Lynch accounts in one accessible, convenient and logical document: The Merrill Lynch "Relationship Statement."

Merrill Lynch worked with Addison, a company specializing in strategic business and investor communications, to create a truly smart way of communicating with clients about their financial lives. The new statement starts with clients and is a direct response to their preferences and recommendations for a best-in-class brokerage statement. It also represents a fundamental rethinking of how the basic statement components interrelate, especially the summary pages. The result: clients get a simple, personalized balance sheet that integrates assets and liabilities, including mortgages, in a format that is intuitive, logical and easy to read.

The Relationship Statement illustrates the benefit of Total Merrill by consolidating information from multiple accounts into a summary report: the new design features five portfolio summary pages with graphics that clearly illustrate the benefits of having finances consolidated at Merrill Lynch. Each portfolio page focuses individually on statement summary, accounts, balance sheet, portfolio review, or monthly income gain/loss review. "The new "smart" statement is so powerful because it actually makes life easier for our clients while enabling better-informed financial decision-making," said Madeleine Yates, Director of Total Merrill Marketing for Merrill Lynch Global Private Client. "It is the tool that brings the value and simplicity of our Total Merrill offerings together."

The statement also provides clients with a comprehensive report on all aspects of their money - including investments, bank accounts, loans, mortgages, retirement accounts, and business-related accounts with Merrill Lynch. It also addresses risk management, asset protection, and tax strategies.

DALBAR Communications "Seal of Excellence"

DALBAR, the financial-services market research firm that evaluated the new statement, rated the Merrill Lynch Relationship Statement number one in meeting consumer preferences and awarded it their "Seal of Excellence; "a designation only three of 31 brokerage-industry statements have earned. DALBAR noted the following:

"The relationship statement differs radically from the traditional brokerage statement in which the statement is limited to investments. The relationship statement broadens this perspective to the entire financial spectrum."
"The Merrill Lynch relationship statement also sets a new standard for providing clients with a holistic view of their financial situation..."
"The Merrill Lynch statement is likely to become a standard against which future statements will be judged."

Rating criteria are based upon: DALBAR's quantification of client needs and preferences; industry best practices in meeting client needs; regulatory requirements and changes; and financial professional preferences (to ensure meeting client needs does not conflict with financial professional preferences).

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