Bank of America reported Tuesday that its wealth management group had a decline in assets under management fees and brokerage fees in the third quarter as the unit’s revenue fell.
The global wealth and investment management group, which includes Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, U.S. Trust and BofA’s retirement and philanthropic services unit, saw fees decline 6.4% to $4.07 billion from the previous quarter.
Analysts said that factors included market valuations and seasonal slowness contributed to the decline . The global wealth and investment management group added $1.34 billion in asset management fees in the third quarter, down from $1.36 billion in the previous quarter.
BofA attributed the decline to the sale of Columbia Management in May to Amerirprise Financial. This caused a $95 million decline in asset management fees. In the second quarter, Columbia contributed $82 million in investment and brokerage revenue.
Excluding Columbia, BofA’s wealth unit had $22 billion in assets under management outflows in the quarter. Brokerage fees fell by $175 million to $1.38 billion in the third quarter as trading volume fell.
Total client assets rose 3.8% to $2.17 trillion from the previous quarter, but were down 6% from a year earlier.
One silver lining: Merrill’s advisors’ average annual production is expected to improve this year. Fees and commissions generated by Merrill’s clients is $841,000, up from $825,000 a year earlier. Analysts said the industry average is usually around $600,000.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Wells Fargo, Merrill’s largest competitors, are scheduled to report quarterly results Wednesday.
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