GettyImages-Bank of America
A pedestrian walks by a Bank of America office on July 16, 2018 in San Francisco, California. The bank on Feb 25 announced that it is dropping the name Merrill Lynch from most of its businesses as part of a rebranding plan. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In a rebranding exercise, the Bank of America has announced dropping of Merrill Lynch name from most of its businesses.

As a result, the Merrill Lynch name will be out from the investment bank and trading divisions. The rechristened investment bank will be called as BofA Securities.

However, the Merrill brand will be retained for the wealth management division. The wealth management team's logo will continue to carry Merrill Lynch's famous bull. Only the financial advisory unit will now operate as Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, the company stated.

Another change will be in the name of US Trust bought by Bank of America in 2007. It will get a new name, Bank of America Private Bank.

CEO Brian Moynihan’s reforms

The downgrading of Merrill Lynch America is part of Chief Executive Brian Moynihan’s rebranding drive to bring the entire company under a single title.

Moynihan rolled out the campaign in 2018 with an advertisement splash. He took over the bank’s leadership from Kenneth Lewis in 2010.

Apparently, the company is reworking its image after it coming out of the hard times during the banking crisis that faced federal bailouts, investor lawsuits and tightening of regulatory stipulations.

Moynihan announced that the changes would take effect in the coming months.

“We are taking these next steps in the way our brand is seen over the coming weeks and months to better reflect this,” the CEO said.

In the last quarter, BofA clocked $7.3 billion as profit. The profits of 2018 at $28.1 billion were also a record.

Founded by Charles Merrill and Edmund Lynch in 1914, Merrill Lynch grew into a mighty brand in retail brokerage earning the name “thundering herd.”

Bank of America has been using the acquisition route as a growth driver. It 2004, it took over FleetBoston Financial Corp and scooped up subprime lender Countrywide Financial Corp in 2008.

However, at the peak of the banking crisis, the bank had to take a loan of $45 billion from the U.S. government, which it repaid later.

Warren Buffett owns 9.5 percent share in BofA

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holds 9.5 percent shares of the bank.

Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, noted that financial stocks are a reliable investment and hailed the new steps being taken by Bank of America’s chief executive.

“Brian Moynihan has done a good job running that company. He was the most underestimated bank executive in the country,” Buffett commented.