The New Digital Thundering Herd

We often hear advice to avoid herd mentality, but when it comes to Merrill Lynch’s approach to technology and wealth management, it’s time to follow the thundering herd.

Some 85% of Merrill Lynch’s clients in its 10 million plus cohort are digital adopters. That number may raise a few eyebrows. What does it mean to be a digital adopter? Could baby boomers really be embracing digital options? Surely the digital move must be led by millennials, or even those with fewer assets and less cumbersome needs.

Believe it or not, that’s not the case.

Kabir Sethi, head of digital wealth management for Merrill Lynch and Bank of America Private Bank, says that digital adoption has been closely correlated with the amount of assets the clients have with the firm. Both post and pre-Covid-19, digital adoption was highest among ultra-high-net-worth baby boomers, defying the misconceptions

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