Runkle & Associates

Merrill lynch

Runkle & Associates

Introduce us to a friend

Learn more about an advisor's background on
FINRA's BrokerCheck
Merrill Lynch
Wealth Management
Our experienced team offers a knowledgeable perspective, investment strategies and personal service focused on your institution’s specific needs and goals.
Our Focus Is You

Runkle & Associates is a leading team within Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, offering wealth management strategies and services to affluent individuals, families, institutions, trusts and endowments. Bob Runkle launched his financial services career in the early 1980s and has spent that entire time with Merrill Lynch. Robert, Jr., after completing the rigorous Merrill Lynch training program, joined forces with his father in 2011. Bob and Robert are complemented by two highly professional, deeply experienced client associates who understand how important diligent, attentive, friendly client service is to a client's top-notch wealth management experience.

The team maintains offices in both Montgomery, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia, for the convenience of clients and to facilitate face-to-face meetings.

Who We Work With

High-net-worth individuals and families: We limit our client engagements to high-net-worth individuals and families who face complex wealth management situations, and who, we believe, will benefit most from our capabilities and experience. Many of our relationships go back years, even decades, and a number of family relationships span two or three generations.

Institutions and retirement benefit plans: We serve several types of institutions including foundations, trade associations, endowments and workers' compensation funds. Among retirement plans, we offer services to defined benefit pension plans and defined-contribution plans, such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans.

What We Do

For individuals and families, we offer a spectrum of wealth management services to help you preserve and grow your wealth. We use a goals-based approach to identify and help you focus your objectives. With this knowledge, we help you structure diversified, customized investment portfolios to power your strategy.

For institutions and nonprofits, Bob Runkle, as a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Institutional Consultant, can help clients focus on investment policy, strategic asset allocation, manager search and due diligence, and investment performance reviews.

*Global Institutional Consulting (“GIC”) is part of the Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions business of BofA Corp. Institutional Investments & Philanthropic Solutions (Philanthropic Solutions) is part of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Corporation (“U.S. Trust”). U.S. Trust operates through Bank of America, N.A., member FDIC, and other subsidiaries of BofA Corp. For both GIC and Philanthropic Solutions, banking and fiduciary activities are performed by wholly owned banking affiliates of BofA Corp, including Bank of America, N.A. Both brokerage and investment advisory services are provided by BofA Securities, Inc. (“BofAS”), a registered broker-dealer, Member Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and registered investment adviser; the nature and degree of advice and assistance provided, the fees charged, and clients’ rights and BofAS’S obligations will differ depending upon the products and services actually provided. Global Institutional Consultants mentioned herein are registered representatives with BofAS and may assist you with investment products and services


Taking a 360° Look at Your Financial Life

Runkle & Associates serves a variety of clients like you, including…

  1. Large and small corporations, holding companies, LLCs and partnerships in the U.S
  2. Non-profit organizations, foundations and endowments
  3. Hospital/healthcare/insurance providers
  4. Educational organizations
Wealth Management for Individuals and Families

We use a goals-based approach to define and prioritize your individual, carefully considered objectives. That means your wealth and investment strategies are designed to help you make progress toward goals that are most important to you. This process is about optimizing the value of the resources you have; it's not about reaching for unsustainable returns or "beating" a market index. Our central task on your behalf is to spot investment opportunities that fit into your strategy, and the potential risks, and inform you quickly.

Our process integrates adjustments and rebalancing over time, as needed. Your strategy and investment portfolio should change as you navigate the inevitable twists and turns of your life. As you move forward, your strategy is designed to stay flexible so that we can talk you through different courses of action and their trade-offs.

One of our team strengths is that we speak very candidly with our advice and guidance about your choices, even during your most difficult financial decisions. As a crucial resource, we can step in to explain wealth and its management to others in your family as well.

Our Mission: Helping You Stay Focused On Your Mission

For many years, insurance companies, workers' compensation boards, trade associations, nonprofit charitable organizations, pensions and retirement savings plans have turned to Bob Runkle for insight, advice and guidance. The entire team at Runkle & Associates is committed to helping these organizations use their assets and manage their businesses effectively to fulfill their missions.

For a board of trustees or an investment committee, Runkle & Associates is a source for a candid, strategic perspective, interpretations of financial industry trends and investing know-how. We take time to understand the needs of institutions, just as we do with individuals and families. Our view is that investment strategies should be linked to the organization's strategic objectives, effective governance, cash flow, liquidity needs, time horizon and risk management. A thoughtful and well-written investment policy is key to these items.

Risk-Aware Investing: A Practical Approach

The centerpiece of Runkle & Associates' investment philosophy is the belief that asset allocation—how your investment capital is spread across different asset classes and sub-classes—is the most important determinant of portfolio performance, over time.

We work with clients of all types to target realistic return expectations, an effort that entails understanding their risk criteria. For individual investors, we look at two fundamental elements of risk: true financial risk—the estimated level of downside risk beyond which may impact lifestyle; and emotional risk—how the person feels about financial loss. These risk criteria affect how we suggest you structure your portfolio and allocate capital across asset classes and sectors.

We also take into consideration your short- and long-term goals, time horizon, liquidity and income needs, and tax sensitivities.

We can offer boutique-like attentiveness and accessibility combined with the global perspective and industry experience of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Institutional Consulting. Our team is passionate about helping clients strengthen and grow their organization, and helping institutions fulfill their goals and missions. When you work with Runkle & Associates, you can expect a high level of commitment, teamwork, personalized service and customized strategies.

Taking Advantage of Diversification

Our experience has shown us the value of diversifying a portfolio across asset classes and within them. Diversification is a risk management approach that can be used to help manage short-term and long-term risks.

Leveraging the Investment Universe

We consider an investment universe that includes domestic and international stocks, taxable and tax-advantaged bonds, and cash and cash equivalents. For certain qualified investors, we may recommend alternative investments, such as hedge funds and private equity partnerships, to deepen the level of diversification.

Some or all alternative investments may not be suitable for certain investors. Certain alternative investments carry significant risk and are not subject to the same regulatory oversight as mutual funds and other traditional investments.  For these reasons, access to alternative investments may be limited to investors who are designated as sophisticated, high-net-worth investors.
Global Institutional Consulting (“GIC”) is part of the Global Wealth and Investment Management business of BofA Corp. Banking activities may be performed by wholly owned banking affiliates of BofA Corp., including Bank of America, N.A., member FDIC. Brokerage and investment advisory services are provided by wholly owned non-bank affiliates of BofA Corp., including Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”), a dually registered broker-dealer and investment adviser and member SIPC.


Merrill is proud of our advisors who’ve received recognition from industry publications. We believe they are setting the standard for exemplary client service.

Robert F. Runkle

Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors”  2018, 2019

Financial Times –“Top 400 Financial Advisers”  2013, 2015

Barron’s America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors:State-by-State 2009-2019

Robert F. Runkle, Jr.

Forbes “America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors”  2017

Meet the Team

Supported by the global resources of Merrill, our team is comprised of talented and experienced individuals committed to building strong client relationships based on trust and personalized service.

Your Financial Strategy

We offer you access to the investing insights of Merrill, as well as banking, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America to help you pursue your goals. We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.

Taking care of your family and other people in your life
  • Trust & Estate Services2
  • Education Funding Strategies1
  • Insurance3
Planning for healthcare expenses now and in the future
  • Long-term Care Insurance3
  • Health Savings Account2
  • Disability Insurance3
Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling or buying a vacation home
  • Home Loans2
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Credit Cards2
Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Bank of America Business Banking2
  • Exchange Funds1
  • Concentrated Stock Management1
  • Succession Planning1
Spending your free time in meaningful ways
  • Credit Cards2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Structured Lending2
Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities
  • Donor-Advised Funds2
  • Private Foundations2
  • Charitable Trusts2
Using your finances to bring it all together
  • Merrill Lynch Investment Accounts1
  • Investment Advisory Accounts1
  • Alternative Investments1
  • Exchange-Traded Funds1
  • Mutual Funds1
  • Closed-end Funds1
  • Fixed Income Products1
  • Options1
  • Annuities3
  • Impact Portfolios1
  • Market-Linked Investments1
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Margin1
  • Home Loans2
  • Bank of America Checking and Savings Accounts2
  • Credit Cards2
  • Online Account Access1,2

1Investment products are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
2Banking products are offered by Bank of America, N.A.
3Insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Staying on Track

We understand that both your life and the financial markets can change over time. By periodically checking in to discuss changes in your life and revisiting your financial strategy, our goal is to help you stay on track to achieve what's most important to you.

Regular reviews to help you stay on track
Regular reviews to help you stay on track

We'll meet with you periodically to review your goals and the progress you’ve made toward reaching them. We'll also discuss any adjustments needed to your financial strategy to help you stay on course.

    Monitoring changes in your life and to your goals
    Monitoring changes in your life and to your goals

    Your life and goals change. We can help you keep track of these changes so they can be reflected in your financial strategy.

    Access to what you need, when you need it

    MyMerrill is your online destination for access to your financial information, secure communications, and a robust offering of tools and capabilities

    Your advisor is a click away within our site or mobile apps

    You can manage account security with our customizable security capabilities such as touch ID, one time passcode, and other security features

    Access to your complete financial life is available with My Financial Picture, Merrill's asset aggregation tool

      *Peace of mind is an aspirational state of mind that clients hope to achieve. There are no guaranteed results following completion of the Goals-Based Wealth Management process because markets can fluctuate and investments can lose value. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors work with clients to help them understand how the goals based wealth management process can help to address their concerns, financial situation and priorities.

      Let’s Have a Conversation

      Helping you reach your goals starts with getting to know you personally. Through understanding what matters most to you, we can help you create a financial strategy that reflects your personality. Only then can we offer an approach that is built around your life priorities and the ongoing advice you need to help you manage fluctuations in the market and changes in your life. Let’s work together to help you achieve your goals.

      Why Merrill Lynch?

      As Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors, we will sort through the financial complexities of your life, helping you build a customized investment strategy to pursue your goals.


      We put you first, every day.
      Learn more about the dedicated one-on-one relationship you can have with a Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor.

      Personalized advice from a dedicated financial advisor.

      Getting to know you is our primary goal.

      A comprehensive approach, built around your life’s priorities.

      Drawing from our experience and the best thinking of Merrill, we will build a strategy that reflects your unique needs, priorities and financial situation.

      Adjusting your plan as your life and the markets change.

      We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.