And finally… time’s up for Merrill Lynch

Charles Edward Merrill

The century- old Merrill Lynch brand is to disappear from the world of investment banking.

Most of its operations will be run under the shorter name of Merrill after a decision by owner Bank of America.

The change is to simplify BoA’s business and will see Merrill adopt the slogan, ‘What would you like the power to do?’

It aims to give the firm a kinder image, in a sharp contrast to previous marketing phrases such as ‘Bullish on America’, which focused on how much investors could make.

Almost all of Bank of America’s investment businesses, including wealth management and the Merrill Edge robo-investing platform, will be Merrill branded, and will retain Merrill’s logo of a rearing bull.

But the investment banking and trading units of the bank will now be branded Bank of America, rather than Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Edmund C. Lynch

Merrill Lynch’s disappearance from the banking landscape means it follows such revered names as PaineWebber, Smith Barney, and Dean Witter have also been wiped out by consolidators — while others, equally big, such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, were destroyed by the financial crisis.

Merrill Lynch has a grand history, dating back to a New York firm founded by Charles Merrill and Edmond Lynch in 1915 in New York City.

The firm played a part in many aspects of the finance business throughout the 20th century, but became best known for its “thundering herd” of as many as 15,000 retail brokers.

The company was taken over by BoA in 2008.