The Week (US)

Merrill tells brokers to follow the money


Merrill Lynch has banned “cold calling” for its 3,000 new trainees, said Matt Levine in

In Wall Street’s early days, the phone was considered “gauche” and early brokers would just knock on mansion doors. Then some enterprisi­ng and tech-savvy brokers saw the power of the phone, and dialing new prospects became a rite of passage. In 2021, though, a networking platform like LinkedIn has “obvious advantages.” For one thing, it gives brokers “more clues about wealth than a phone number.” You can also “write a good template LinkedIn message and copy-and-paste it to a bunch of people,” which is more efficient than talking over the phone to someone “until they hang up on you.” Still, it’s a big shift for the retail brokerage business, which for decades was known for “people sitting in a big room cold-calling dentists.”

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