Now’s the time to have the bull at your back, with Merrill.
Merrill believes the future is bullish, even in the most unpredictable of markets. To see you through uncertainty and help you to find opportunities, we invite you to check out the latest investment insights from our Chief Investment Office.
Corporate Advisory Services
Whatever your personal goals may be, we will work with you to develop a personalized financial approach designed to help you pursue what’s most important to you.
We start with what’s important to you
We take the time to listen and learn about the needs and goals of your institution and the people it serves – it’s these real-world insights that guide our strategies and personalized service.
Corporate Advisory Services is supported by talented specialists who have experience working with institutions and share a strong commitment to guiding investment programs and strategic decision making.
Our purpose is simple, it’s to help make financial lives better — it’s who we are and what we do.
No matter the size and scale of your equity plan requirements, we can work with you to provide a personalized experience that meets the specific needs of your company and your employees. Our equity professionals are accessible and committed, working one-on-one with you to build a deep understanding of your needs, which equips us to provide personal service day to day and long term. Our goal is to make your job easier and to help your employees to understand and participate in the benefits you provide to them.
Equity Compensation Plan Services
As a Bank of America Equity Plan Consultant, Corporate Advisory Services can help support your equity plan administration needs. In addition, we can help you position your company as an employer of choice in today’s market for talent while helping your employees manage their equity awards. We can help explain the choices equity plan participants have when exercising equity awards and provide guidance on individual wealth and retirement planning needs.
Meet the Team
Our team is comprised of talented and experienced individuals committed to building strong client relationships based on trust and personalized service.
Solutions for Institutions
Beyond our experience, we offer access to the deep intellectual capital and broad capabilities of Bank of America Corporation and its affiliates. If we identify a need we can’t service ourselves, we can connect you with the people and resources to help you. Through our network of advisors, we strive to deliver strategies to help you manage the day-to-day and long-term responsibilities required in pursuing your institution’s goals. As we work together to address your evolving needs, we can help make the broad capabilities of Bank of America Corporation feel more accessible.
The Award Choice Financial Reporting™ solution is an on-demand, web-based application that provides customized, comprehensive reports and helps to fulfill your ASC 718 requirements.
Employee Stock Purchase Plan Services
With an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP), corporations can make it possible for employees to purchase company stock at a discount to the fair market value of the stock.
Rule 10b5-1 Trading Plans
We can help your executives design and implement a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan, enabling systematic selling or purchasing of company stock at regular intervals.
Implementing a Rule 10b5-1 Trading Plan does not prohibit or prevent legal or regulatory action related to the trades. Trading plans are intended to demonstrate that the purchase or sale of a security of any issuer was not on the basis of material, nonpublic information about that security or issuer and therefore, not in violation of section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934and Rule 10(b)-5.
We understand the unique needs and challenges your officers, directors, and insiders face in managing their equity awards and transacting in company stock. Your insiders will have access to an advisor who understands the complexity of equity awards and the regulations that may govern their transactions; and who can provide the assistance your insiders will need to get the greatest benefit from their awards.
AwardChoice Financial Reporting™ is also commonly referred to as ACFR. Customization of ACFR reports solely relates to report format and appearance. The manner in which information in ACFR reports is grouped, sorted, filtered and the order in which data appears in the report, along with the format of the report, can be customized to match user preferences. ACFR report customization does not provide for or allow custom calculations to be performed in the course of running reports in the system
Implementing a Rule 10b5-1 Trading Plan does not prohibit or prevent legal or regulatory action related to the trades. Trading plans are intended to demonstrate that the purchase or sale of a security of any issuer was not on the basis of material, nonpublic information about that security or issuer and therefore, not in violation of section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10(b)-5.
Keep the focus on your company's greatest asset — your employees
Designing and administering equity compensation plans is a challenge for many companies. While offering a plan helps you create an ownership culture, managing that plan may require additional expertise. At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we understand your need for a total equity compensation plan that creates value for your company and its employees. We know the stakes are high — and we have the experience and resources to help you deliver a successful program.
We can support you and your employees with your equity compensation needs, including:
- Nonqualified and Incentive Stock Options
- Performance Shares and Units
- Restricted Stock and Units
- Dividend Equivalent Units
- Stock Appreciation Rights
- Employee Stock Purchase Plans
- Institutional Trust and Custody Services
Solutions for Individuals
Fitting your equity benefits into your financial picture
We have extensive experience helping executives integrate their equity and other compensation—including nonqualified deferred compensation plans, pension plans, and health savings and flexible spending accounts—into an overall wealth management strategy.
Executives of publicly traded corporations often receive a substantial portion of their compensation in the form of options on company stock and restricted securities. They must make difficult decisions about when and how to monetize these awards and how to handle the resulting concentrated positions. We can draw on our own experience with the issues surrounding option exercise and restrictions on insider stock sales, together with the expansive resources of Merrill, to assist clients with:
- Determining a value for their equity awards and understanding how their total compensation program fits into their current and long-term financial picture
- Designing a strategy to help manage their equity awards and decide when to monetize their options
- Incorporating the resulting assets into investment portfolios reflecting their goals, risk tolerance, time horizon and liquidity needs
Serving executives' unique financial needs
We understand the challenges that corporate executives face in their financial lives. Using Merrill Lynch's Wealth Outlook® program, we can help you visualize all your assets and evaluate the likelihood, under various market scenarios, of achieving certain financial objectives within a specified time frame. Based on the results, we can develop a customized wealth management strategy tailored to your individual situation. This may include such elements as:
- Stock option planning service
- Investment management
- Retirement planning services
- Tax minimization strategies, in collaboration with your tax professionals
- Asset allocation strategies
- Philanthropic strategies
- Legacy planning services
Equity awards—Handling equity awards involves complicated choices. With our years of experience in this area, we are well equipped to help you make informed decisions as to when to exercise company stock options and sell or gift restricted stock shares. We can also help you execute these trades in accordance with regulatory restrictions while seeking to minimize risk and tax liabilities and maximize award values. In addition, we can assist with the proper reporting of insider stock purchases and sales.
Although we are committed to helping you at every step of the way, we believe you should be an informed participant in your wealth management. We conduct communication and education programs to help you manage your equity awards and integrate them into a wealth management strategy for pursuing your long- and short-term goals.
We know that goals and circumstances may change over time. Throughout our relationship, we will conduct periodic reviews to help keep your strategy aligned with your evolving situation. We can also provide guidance designed to help you weather market ups and downs and alert you to potential opportunities.
If you prefer to work with a financial advisor closer to home, we can leverage our relationships with other Merrill Lynch teams around the country to assist you in finding a financial advisor as dedicated as we are to helping you pursue your financial goals and dreams.
*Any information presented in connection with BofA Global Research is general in nature and is not intended to provide personal investment advice. The information does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific person who may receive it. Investors should understand that statements regarding future prospects may not be realized. BofA Global Research is equity research produced by BofA Securities, Inc. (“BofAS”) and/or one or more of its affiliates. BofA Global Research does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single factor in making their investment decision.
*Institutional Investor magazine announced BofA Global Research as one of the Top Global Research Firms in 2021 based on surveys held throughout the year. The magazine creates rankings of the top research analysts in a wide variety of specializations, drawn from the choices of portfolio managers and other investment professionals at more than 1,000 firms. BofA Global Research is research produced by BofA Securities, Inc. (“BofAS”) and/or one or more of its affiliates. BofAS is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC, and wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation. For more information, visit Institutional Investor. Rankings and recognition from Institutional Investor are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a current or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance results and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement.
The importance of discipline and a long view
We take a long-term approach to investing based on creating diversified portfolios through the strategic allocation of assets. We believe that this, rather than security selection and market timing, provides a solid foundation for pursuing the outcomes you desire. We measure our performance not against benchmarks like the Standard & Poor's 500 but against your goals.
In structuring an investment strategy for you, we:
- Tailor our recommendations to your objectives, risk tolerance, time horizon and liquidity needs
- Seek diversification across major asset classes
- Consider a variety of investment choices through professional investment managers, using information from Merrill's Investment Management and Guidance group to examine their past performance and analyze their future growth potential
We believe that risk management is critical to growing and preserving your wealth. We can help you determine the level of risk you're comfortable with and balance that against the level that may be required to pursue your goals within the desired time frame.
Corporate executives holding concentrated positions in company stock face significant risk, since an adverse movement in the share price can undermine their financial preparations. We can help you manage this risk through such techniques as:
- Diversification away from company stock, combined with strategic asset allocation, can help you manage risk while maintaining appropriate-size positions in company stock and developing broader industry exposure. All asset classes are not appropriate for all investors. Each investor should select asset classes that are appropriate to his or her goals, time horizon, liquidity needs and risk tolerance.
- Hedging can be an effective tool when selling a concentrated position is not an option.**
- Monetization can help produce an income stream.**
- Strategies using portfolio design and optimization may help you retain more of your assets.
If appropriate, we may suggest a staged selling strategy in accordance with SEC Rule 10b5-1. Such a strategy can help you retain some of the upside potential of the concentrated position while gradually converting it into a diversified portfolio.
**Hedging and monetization strategies can result in higher return potential but also higher loss potential. Prospective investors are required to meet certain qualifications and acknowledge they understand the risks associated with certain hedging and monetization strategies that may not be appropriate for all investors.
Merrill offers a broad range of brokerage, investment advisory and other services. There are important differences between brokerage and investment advisory services, including the type of advice and assistance provided, the fees charged, and the rights and obligations of the parties. It is important to understand the differences, particularly when determining a service or services to select.
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