Wikipedia: Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MER TYO: 8675) is a global financial services firm. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, the company provides capital markets services, investment banking and advisory services, wealth management, asset management, insurance, banking and related financial services worldwide. Merrill Lynch is headquartered in New York City, and occupies the entire 34 stories of the Four World Financial Center building in Manhattan. Plans were announced on 14 September 2008 for Bank of America to acquire Merrill Lynch, if approved by regulators and shareholders of both companies.
Merrill Lynch rose to prominence on the strength of its brokerage network (15,000+ as of 2006), sometimes referred to as the "thundering herd", that allowed it to place securities it underwrote directly. In contrast, many established Wall Street firms, such as Morgan Stanley, relied on selling groups of independent brokers for placement of the securities they underwrote. Until as late as 1970, it was known as the "Catholic" firm of Wall Street. The firm went public in 1971 and has since become a multinational corporation with over US $1.8 trillion in client assets, operating in more than 40 countries around the world. In 1978, it significantly buttressed its securities underwriting business by acquiring White Weld & Co., a small but prestigious old-line investment bank. Merrill Lynch is best known for its Global Private Client services and its strong sales force.
Merrill Lynch -- Our History
After years of planning, Merrill Lynch goes public, the second Big Board member to do so, but the first to have its shares listed on the exchange.
During a baseball World Series that saw the Pittsburgh Pirates edge out the Baltimore Orioles, Merrill Lynch introduces its "Merrill Lynch is bullish on America" ad campaign in a television commercial.
To provide more flexibility, the firm becomes the first in the securities business to adopt a holding company format, with Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. as the parent and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith as the operating subsidiary.
Symbolizing growth, strength, optimism and confidence, the Bull logo is introduced and becomes the trademark on which all of the financial service subsidiaries of Merrill Lynch & Co. will be identified.
7 October 1971, New York Times, Advertising, pg. 80:
Merrill Is Setting the Bulls Loose
From across the barren plain there comes the far-off thunder of thousands of hoofs and then in the distance appears a stampeding herd of cattle that charges right into your living room. The message is there for all to see, "Merrill Lynch is bullish on America."
And with a cloud of dust during the World Series telecast this Saturday, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith will launch the first major national TV campaign in the investment company field.
...some keen chaps from Oglivy & Mather screened the spot yesterday and also supplied some information on the campaign.
The company recognizes the national ills, pollution, urban blight, monetary problems, they said, but they are still optimistic for the country. The "bullish on America" spot was shot in Mexico. That's where the fighting bulls are, you know.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • Sunday, March 19, 2006 • Permalink