Merrill Lynch has seen a jump in new clients in the Houston area since 2017 and plans to significantly bolster its advisor ranks to meet the increased demand, according to news reports.

"I would expect to see our adviser force doubling over the course of this decade," Andy Sieg, president of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, told the Houston Business Journal.

Sieg added that the firm would need to fill a variety of other supporting roles when Merrill goes “from 250 to 500" advisors, according to the publication.

Merrill is currently responsible for most of the $75 billion that Bank of America, Merrill’s parent company, has in wealth management client assets in the Houston market, the Business Journal writes. And while the wirehouse added 370 net new clients in 2017, that’s jumped to more than 700 annually, according to the publication.

Sieg also told the Business Journal that the proportion of new clients under 40 has doubled to 20% in recent years. And a younger, more diverse clientele will drive Merrill’s local hiring, Brian Ludwick, Houston market executive for Merrill since January 2021, said, according to the publication.

Ludwick added that the firm hopes that its advisor roster "represents all spectrums of our community,” according to the Business Journal.

Merrill has 13 advisor offices and a BofA private park in the Houston metro area, the publication writes.

In all, BofA has 2,410 employees working out of 121 financial centers in the Houston area, according to the Business Journal.

BofA has more than $26 billion in local deposits, making it the third-largest bank in the Houston market, the Business Journal writes, citing data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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