Emery Solano
Relationship Manager
How did you enter this field?
When I began my career at Merrill Edge, I moved from a role with Bank of America, transitioning from banking to brokerage.
What has your career path been like?
I began my career at Bank of America as a part-time customer service representative while I was attending Johnson and Wales University. I quickly excelled in my role and transitioned into a new customer service unit to support our Spanish speaking customers. I assisted with writing scripts and training new representatives in the Spanish language unit. I was later promoted to a claims analyst for the Bank of America Visa debit non fraud team. A former manager told me about an opportunity with Merrill Edge. I have always taken pride in our products and connecting our clients to solutions to help simplify their finances. I decided that it was time for a new challenge and applied for a position with Merrill Edge as an investment specialist. While fulfilling training and licensing requirements, I gained experience in client services and technical support, and ended up as a relationship manager on the Premium investment team.
Have you had any specific training/schooling (military, graduate, etc.) that has helped prepare you more for your role?
To initiate my career at Merrill Edge, I attended Johnson and Wales University. In addition, I have also taken and passed the Series 7 and Series 63 FINRA registration exams.
On a typical day (or week) in this position, what do you do?
As a relationship manager, I work with an average of 20-30 clients. Each have different needs, ranging from simple equity and fixed income trades to strategies such as trading on margin. My responsibilities include accepting trades and ensuring our client's transactions adhere to all regulations. In addition, I specialize in connecting our clients to resources that can help simplify their banking and brokerage needs.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Overall, I've found that the knowledge I've gained in the industry has been beneficial both personally and professionally. I also take pride in providing exceptional service to every client. I gain satisfaction in going above and beyond our clients' expectations and developing relationships built on trust.
If things develop as you would like, what does the future hold for your career?
My background and experience with both brokerage and banking have given me an edge in product knowledge which I believe helps our clients take advantage of the range of services available to them across the enterprise. As I continue to learn and grow in my current role, it has become clear to me that I will pursue my career further as a relationship manager.
What skills are required in your position on a day to day basis?
A successful relationship manager works well independently and in group settings, has excellent communication skills, analytical skills and product knowledge. I am confident that the analytical skills developed while employed at Bank of America have been key to my overall success at Merrill Edge. I am also extremely grateful for having the opportunity to explore our trading platform in a more comprehensive fashion while working as a technical support specialist. This role fine-tuned my understanding of our platform and its functionality, and helps me to better connect our clients to the resources they need.
What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
The nature of my role overall is challenging due to how unpredictable it can be. As relationship managers, we don't know what the market outlook will yield each day, and each day we face new challenges and opportunities.
How would you describe the corporate culture?
The culture is diverse. I work with recent graduates and experienced specialists who love the brokerage business. As many of us have shared similar experiences in our current roles, everyone is friendly, forthcoming and helpful.
What do you wish you knew (but didn't) when you first contemplated this career?
Basic exposure to the products in the industry will make your transition smoother. Whether it is attained via your career path, or from your own passion in investments, it will be highly beneficial to your career with Merrill Edge.
Any "words of advice"?
The most valuable advice I received during the early stages of my career with Merrill Edge was to never give up. I would like to "pay it forward" and pass that on to others. While a career in the securities industry can be highly rewarding, the licensing requirements can be challenging. Take advantage of the time given to you to learn, advance, fulfill licensing requirements and most importantly, do not be afraid to ask questions.
David Clark
Financial Solutions Advisor
How did you enter this field?
I entered this field upon graduating college from Flagler College. I began studying finance in my junior year and was able to get an internship at Merrill Lynch in the summer leading into my senior year. The internship went well and I pursued a further career within Merrill Lynch.
What has your career path been like?
My career path has been filled with opportunity. Within Merrill Edge, there are different tiers of providing financial advice and guidance. I was able to rise through the tiers to the final tier within the first year of being at Merrill Edge.
On a typical day (or week) in this position, what do you do?
I provide financial advice and guidance over the phone to existing Merrill Edge clients. My job involves taking calls and making calls to clients who want to review their Merrill Edge portfolios.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part is being able to provide meaningful advice and guidance to our clients. My financial advice and guidance can help a client who needs advice and guidance or who needs questions answered regarding their financial accounts. Being able to provide solutions to address clients' financial goals and objectives is extremely rewarding.
If things develop as you would like, what does the future hold for your career?
I'd like to continue to provide financial advice and guidance to clients as their goals and priorities change over time.
What skills are required in your position on a day to day basis?
The job requires skills in mathematics, problem solving, multi-tasking and people skills.
What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
Figuring out solutions to complex financial problems is what I find most challenging. Sometimes, the solution is straightforward, while other times, the solution can be more complex and multi-layered.
How would you describe the corporate culture?
I enjoy the corporate culture. We're very serious about community service and giving back to the community, and there's a lot of teamwork in the office on a daily basis.
What do you wish you knew (but didn't) when you first contemplated this career?
I didn't realize how rewarding it would be to help our clients. It's a gratifying feeling to have when I provide meaningful advice and guidance to our clients.
Any "words of advice"?
I would advise that a person looking into this career be a person who is motivated, focused and maintains a positive attitude.
AR6DKQPP-EXP07022020