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Locke & Associates

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Locke & Associates provides sophisticated plan design, investment menu fiduciary support and participant education campaigns and meetings to the corporate/institutional markets. Our mission is to offer an approach that encourages collaboration between plan sponsors, employees and our team.

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.

About Us

Locke & Associates

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With over 75 years of combined experience Locke & Associates provides sophisticated plan design, access to investment menu fiduciary support and participant education campaigns and meetings to the corporate/institutional markets. Our mission is to offer an approach that encourages collaboration between plan sponsors, employees and our team.

Understanding and charting a path toward financial success for our high net worth private clients is especially rewarding as we help them pursue and achieve their total wealth management goals.

Additional Resources

Locke & Associates is supported by talented specialists who have experience working with institutions and share a strong commitment to guiding investment programs and strategic decision making.

Approach

We can offer boutique-like attentiveness and accessibility combined with the global perspective and industry experience of Bank of America 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 Locke & Associates, you can expect a high level of commitment, teamwork, personalized service and customized strategies.

Our Focus

Plan Sponsor Services and Support
We offer personalized guidance regarding retirement plans and are committed to:

  • Perform a thorough needs assessment and plan evaluation
  • Take a sound approach to plan implementation
  • Pursue rigorous due diligence to help create a diversified Investment Menu
  • Develop a communications strategy to help employees pursue financial goals
  • Coordinate and conduct enrollment meetings
  • Facilitate ongoing plan services
Defined Contribution Investment Consulting (DCIC)
Constructing and maintaining a sound investment line-up requires significant commitment of a plan fiduciary’s time and resources. To help plan sponsors fulfill this important obligation, Bank of America Merrill is proud to offer you an exceptional opportunity to tap into robust financial knowledge and experience.
  • Merrill will accept ERISA 3(21) fiduciary responsibility for the investment advice provided through this program. 
  • Ramona Locke has met the stringent requirements to provide DCIC support and can work with your organization’s Committee to help make your plan investment management more efficient and valuable.
  • This service can be coupled with Bank of America Merrill's Defined Contribution offering or plans recordkept by other service providers who meet certain dollar thresholds and other eligibility criteria.


Individual Services and Support
The foundation of our high net worth private client services centers around a commitment to help individuals attain their financial goals. By applying our experience and dedication we are able to work closely with clients to identify their goals at every stage of their lives, provide investment insights intended to help them reach their preferred lifestyles and guide them in their pursuit of financial success.

Merrill will accept ERISA 3(21) fiduciary responsibility for the investment advice provided through DCIC and will stand behind their recommendations, which are backed by the investment screening process of GWIM's CIO Due Diligence.

Bank of America Merrill is a marketing name for the Retirement Services business of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp”). Banking activities may be performed by wholly owned banking affiliates of BofA Corp, including Bank of America, N.A., member FDIC. Brokerage services may be performed by wholly owned brokerage affiliates of BofA Corp, including Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S”), a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC.

Mission

mission is simple: to help institutional investors pursue their goals through insightful investment guidance and thoughtful management of their financial assets.

Recognition

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

Ramona Z Locke

Financial Times –“Top 401 Retirement Plan Advisers” 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019

Solutions for Institutions

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For Plan Sponsors

Your role as a plan sponsor is more challenging than ever, and it’s not something to face alone. We bring the resources and thought leadership from Bank of America Corporation and its affiliates to bear in helping you provide a strong, healthy and fully compliant program that runs smoothly, engages your employees and makes your job easier. We can help you focus on the areas that may be helpful to plan success, including Fiduciary Advisory Services 1 and Education and Plan Services 2 appropriate for your plan.

Fiduciary Advisory Services1

Through Fiduciary Advisory Services, we can help you design and maintain an investment menu.
  • Investment Policy Statement (IPS)3
  • Comprehensive due diligence processes to identify appropriate investments 
  • Proactive delivery – online and by your designated advisor – of investment performance reporting every quarter 
  • Report providing fund analysis and market trends.

1 Fiduciary Advisory Services is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”). 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 which service or services to select. All recommendations must be based on the suitability requirements of the client. Please refer to the Fiduciary Advisory Services Brochure for information on the program including a description of the series and related fees.

2 Education and Plan Services are non-fiduciary services required for Advisor Alliance clients and optional for MLII clients.

3 IPS service is not available for FAS Discretionary. The plan sponsor is responsible for the approval and final adoption of the IPS.

For Employees

All our efforts revolve around helping your employees pursue their goals. With Bank of America Corporation’s long legacy of service excellence, we take a holistic approach to helping your employees connect their life priorities and financial priorities—in and beyond their benefit plans. By broadening our view to include an employee’s entire financial picture, both in and out of plan, we believe we can help your employees better manage and gain control of their finances.
 

  • Holistic approach to helping improve overall financial wellness
  • Personalized plan saving and investing advice through Advice Access
  • Comprehensive employee education program
  • Choice of service channels – in person, by phone or self-directed online

Advice Access is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill that uses a probabilistic approach to determine the likelihood that participants in the program may be able to achieve their specified annual retirement income goal and/or to identify a potential wealth outcome that could be realized. Additionally, the recommendations provided by Advice Access may include a higher level of investment risk than a participant may be personally comfortable with. Participants are strongly advised to consider their personal goals, overall risk tolerance, and retirement horizon before accepting any recommendations made by Advice Access. Participants should carefully review the explanation of the methodology used, including key assumptions and limitations, which is provided in the Advice Access disclosure document (ADV Part 2A) statement. It can be obtained through Benefits OnLine or through your representative.

IMPORTANT: The projections or other information shown in the Advice Access program regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. Results may vary with each use and over time.

Supporting a strong retirement plan and helping to keep it on track

The retirement and financial needs of your employees, as well as the responsibility those needs create for you as an employer, are important to you. We offer the solutions your employees may need to help pursue their financial goals and maintain financial wellness. Our array of resources and experience is designed to help meet your employees’ financial needs in ways that make sense for your company — strategically, operationally and financially. You and your employees will have a team of experienced and passionate advocates for financial wellness on your side. Our team will make your priorities their own so you can focus more on your business.

DCIC

Through our Defined Contribution Investment Consulting (DCIC) program 1 we can help you construct and maintain an appropriate investment menu and act as an ERISA 3(21) fiduciary 2 for your plan. Our Designated Advisors take the time to understand the needs of your organization and to work with you to develop an investment policy statement and investment menu aligned with your plan’s objectives. Your Designated Advisor remains actively involved with your plan with investment performance reports and advice and guidance as needed to help you manage investments over time.

1  Defined Contribution Investment Consulting (DCIC) is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S or “Merrill”). It is only available to defined contribution plans, typically with greater than $10 million in assets, for which an external provider serves as recordkeeper (plans with recordkeeping services provided through Merrill or Advisor Alliance are not eligible for DCIC), and subject to certain requirements. For more information on plan eligibility speak to your Merrill Designated Advisor.

2 The Merrill  DCIC Client Agreement and disclosure documents include information about the program, including Merrill’s fiduciary responsibilities pursuant to ERISA section 3(21). Final selection of all investments to be included in the defined contribution plan menu will ultimately be that of the client. Merrill will not advise upon any employer securities, including any employer stock fund, or with respect to any self-direct brokerage option, participant loan balances, in-plan retirement income options, custom funds or Bank of America or Merrill affiliated mutual funds or other affiliated products (including, without limitation, deposit products including Retirement Bank Account).

Helping institutions meet their investment needs

We put the resources and intellectual capital of Merrill to work for institutional clients like you by delivering thoughtful advice and sophisticated investment strategies through focused client-centric consulting. We help organizations like yours address today’s complex investment challenges through an integrated, goals-based investment process that enables them to redefine success, manage risk and help fulfill their missions.

Investment Solutions

We provide access to a full suite of potential investment solutions for non-profit organizations, foundations, endowments and corporate retirement and pension plans. Our level of involvement is based on your preference — from traditional consulting, to client-directed implementation, to full discretionary outsourced CIO services. We work with your CFO, board  of directors and investment committee to develop a tailored investment strategy that is consistent with your culture, goals, preferences and risk profile.

Disciplined Investment Process

We follow a disciplined process that helps to address your organization’s changing needs and provides you with a potentially higher probability of achieving your long-term investment goals.

1

Investment Policy Statement Development and Review

Act as liaison between institutional clients and Merrill's Investment Policy Statement (IPS) service, which creates and modifies an IPS, based on the client’s investment goals and objectives.

2

Strategic Allocation Modeling

Customizable asset allocation based on the Chief Investment Office capital market assumptions.

3

Investment Manager Due Diligence

Recommend investment solutions leveraging Merrill's thorough and rigorous due diligence process.

4

Investment Manager Search and Selection

Advanced portfolio construction techniques combined with client specific objectives and Merrill's capital market guidance.

5

Portfolio Strategy

Leverage Merrill's global intellectual capital including tactical tilts to potentially help increase returns.

6

Performance Measurement

Review, quantify and evaluate performance to identify opportunities to refine the portfolio’s overall strategy, based on the Investment Policy Statement.

Endowments, Foundations and Nonprofits

We understand the issues nonprofits, endowments and foundations address in funding their missions in an ever-changing financial climate. Drawing on the global resources of Bank of America Corporation and its affiliates, we offer insight, guidance and personalized service to help institutions develop and execute investment strategies focused on what matters most to them and the people they serve.

Impact investing and/or Environmental Social Governance (ESG) investing has certain risks based on the fact that ESG criteria excludes securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons and therefore, investors may forgo some market opportunities and the universe of investments available will be smaller.

Defined benefit plans

Whether your defined benefit plan is an active part of your overall benefit offering, is closed to new participants, or fully frozen, Bank of  America's service model allows you to outsource the many administrative tasks associated with the maintenance of a pension plan to fulfill plan obligations and manage risk.

Key services include:
• Investment consulting service
• Open architecture investment management platform
• Liability driven investment implementation
• Actuarial services and discretionary investment management

1Advice Access is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill that uses a probabilistic approach to determine the likelihood that participants in the program may be able to achieve their specified annual retirement income goal and/or to identify a potential wealth outcome that could be realized. Additionally, the recommendations provided by Advice Access may include a higher level of investment risk than a participant may be personally comfortable with. Participants are strongly advised to consider their personal goals, overall risk tolerance, and retirement horizon before accepting any recommendations made by Advice Access. Participants should carefully review the explanation of the methodology used, including key assumptions and limitations, which is provided in the Advice Access disclosure document (ADV Part 2A) statement. It can be obtained through Benefits OnLine or through your representative.

IMPORTANT: The projections or other information shown in the Advice Access program regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. Results may vary with each use and over time.

Advice Access is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill. 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 which service or services to select. Please refer to the Advice Access disclosure document (ADV Part 2A), which is available through Benefits OnLine or a participant service representative, for information on the program including a description of the services and related fees.

Advice Access is only offered to defined contribution plans recordkept by Bank of America. For more information on plan eligibility speak to your Merrill advisor.

And More

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 make the broad capabilities of Bank of America Corporation feel much more accessible.

We’re committed to a high standard

Putting clients’ interests first isn’t new, and this isn’t a one-time event. Our clients have been at the center of everything we do since Charles Merrill founded Merrill over a hundred years ago.

Solutions for Individuals

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Approach

We begin every relationship with a conversation, helping you identify and prioritize which goals matter most to you. Whether it's transferring wealth to the next generation, customizing your financial approach to help you pursue your passions, or providing advice and guidance to help you stay informed, we start by listening to learn more about you and your family.

Drawing upon research in the field of behavioral finance, Merrill developed the Investment Personality Assessment to help us get to know you better as an investor and help you refine your investing preferences. Together, we can help customize your investment approach. Using an understanding of your priorities and investment personality as a foundation, we help you access the full breadth of resources from Bank of America’s banking products and services and Merrill’s investment insights to address all aspects of your financial life.

Your approach to investing

Drawing upon research in the field of behavioral finance, Merrill developed the Investment Personality Assessment to help us get to know you better as an investor and potentially help you refine your own investing preferences. By gaining a deeper understanding of how you think and feel about investing through this assessment, we can customize the financial approach we develop together to help you pursue what matters most to you. Our Investment Personality Assessment is one of the ways to help us get to know you - to understand your goals and priorities. These questions will give you a sense of the full assessment and help us provide you with additional insights and resources.

Understanding your goals and priorities

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

Philosophy

We believe the best financial approach is the one that helps you pursue your goals. That's why, from the start, we talk about your aspirations and encourage you to ask questions about issues that matter most to you. Worried about managing future health care expenses? College on the horizon? Considering the sale of a business or purchase of a home? Preparing to pass your wealth to future generations? With access to the investment insights of Merrill and the banking convenience of Bank of America, we will work with you to develop an approach designed to help address your financial needs.

Your Financial Strategy

We offer you access to the investing insights of Merrill, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America Private Bank, and the banking convenience of 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.

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FAMILY
Taking care of your family and other people in your life
  • Trust & Estate Services4
  • Education Funding1
  • Insurance3
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HEALTH
Planning for healthcare expenses now and in the future
  • Long-term Care Insurance3
  • Health Savings Account2
  • Disability Insurance3
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HOME
Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling or buying a vacation home
  • Home Loans2
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Credit Cards2
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WORK
Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Bank of America Business Banking2
  • Exchange Funds1
  • Concentrated Stock Management1
  • Succession Planning1
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LEISURE
Spending your free time in meaningful ways
  • Credit Cards2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Structured Lending2
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GIVING
Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities
  • Donor-Advised Funds4
  • Private Foundations4
  • Charitable Trusts4
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FINANCE
Using your finances to bring it all together
  • Merrill 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

¹ Investment products are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
² Banking, mortgage and home equity products offered by Bank of America, N.A.
³ Insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.
4 Trust and fiduciary services are provided by Bank of America Private Bank.

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 approach, our goal is to help you stay on track to achieve what’s most important to you.

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Reviews to help you stay on track

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

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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.

Wealth Management Your Way

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

Capabilities

Our process is designed to help deliver a customized, consistent experience to assist clients not only in wealth accumulation and preservation, but in areas that go beyond investments. Our ability to provide access to the investment insights of Merrill, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America Private Bank, and the banking convenience and lending solutions of Bank of America offers a way to help clients manage all of the pieces of their financial lives. We view ourselves as a financial resource, helping clients with potential solutions for transferring wealth to the younger generation.

Join us

Let’s Have a Conversation

There is no substitute for a one-on-one relationship with a Merrill financial advisor committed to your needs.

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