The Academy for Advisor Development

At Bank of America, we are creating real, meaningful relationships with individuals and businesses across the country. Each day, we connect with 67 million clients through a growing specialist workforce and our world class digital platform. With each relationship and connection, we are looking to provide financial guidance for our clients when they need us most – whether they are just starting out, buying a home, building a family or planning for retirement. As part of our commitment, we are looking for the next generation of Advisors—those with a passion for growing a long term career and a drive for making our clients’ financial lives better.

The Academy’s Advisor Development program provides advisors across Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank the skills to help clients realize the potential in their lives. The Academy matches aspiring and current financial advisor applicants with the right mix of coursework and on-the-job training to ensure success.

Whether you are starting out in your career, looking to transition into financial services, or are a seasoned advisor, our Advisor Development program is designed to support and nurture your growth so that you can make a difference in the lives of our clients. If you are looking to pursue a career helping others towards their financial goals, we are here to help make it happen.

Building a successful career starts with the right foundation

The Academy’s Advisor Development program is our holistic approach to the way we hire, train, and develop advisors. The program is designed to support individuals at all levels of career experience, providing an entry point into the organization and the resources to grow.

At its core, The Academy’s Advisor Development program is a structured curriculum with a high-touch training approach for all of our financial advisors. We will teach you key aspects of the advisor role while simultaneously offering on-the-job training and exposure to put your learning into action. The role of an advisor involves getting personal with clients about their financial needs and goals; the more exposure you have to this during your training, the more your work builds and grows. Participants in our programs continue to tell us about the value of client exposure and on-the-job training, so we ensure all of our advisor development offerings focus on this as much as possible.


In addition to on-the-job training and client exposure, you can also expect to develop close relationships with your peers in training, your mentors, and senior associates that you meet along the way. You will learn from industry leaders with decades of experience, and you will connect with your peers over week-long seminars and late-night studying. Everyone in our organization is committed to your success and willing to help you every step of the way.


Successful advisors are self-starters who thrive on relationship building. They play a key role in the lives of their clients, they help them with tough financial decisions, plan for the future, and pursue their dreams. We are committed to providing robust training and development for our financial advisors so they can provide the best service to their clients.

One program: Many paths

We have many different advisor roles across our organization. While every advisor position is deeply committed to helping clients meet their financial goals, there are some differences. See below on specifics, and learn how you fit in.

Consumer Banking & Investments

Work with affluent clients.

For students

Advisor Development Summer Analyst Program

Gain exposure to client facing roles in Consumer and Wealth Management

New or some experience

Financial Services Representative – Contact Centers

First step in a career in Financial Services Obtain licenses, learn to service and deepen relationships with investment clients


Financial Solutions Advisor Trainee – Financial Centers

Obtain licenses, gain banking and investment knowledge, provide advice and guidance to clients in one of Bank of America's Fincancial Centers

Licensed professionals

Financial Solutions Advisor – Financial Centers

Work with clients in one of Bank of America's financial centers providing advice and guidance through investments and bank solutions


Financial Solutions Advisor – Merrill Markets

Work with clients in a Merrill market providing advice and guidance through investments and bank solutions


Work with high-net-worth clients.

For students

Advisor Development Summer Analyst Program

Gain exposure to client facing roles in Consumer and Wealth Management

New or some experience

Financial Advisor Development Program

Obtain licenses, learn skills to build your practice assisting high-net-worth clients

Experienced advisors

Financial Advisor

Grow your practice with us by advising high-net-worth clients using the full capabilities of Bank of America and Merrill

Private Bank

Work with ultra-high-net-worth clients.

For students

Summer Analyst Program

For current undergraduates looking to gain exposure in a variety of roles within Wealth Management


Summer Associate Program

For MBAs interested in developing a career providing advice to high-net-worth clients

Some experience

Private Client Associate Development Program

For those new to wealth management looking to gain the skills and experience to build a sustainable practice with high-net worth clients

Experienced advisors

Private Client Advisor

For advisors looking to grow their practice by partnering with specialists and providing customized solutions to high-net-worth clients

Paula Sabbagha

Paula Sabbagha

Paula Sabbagha is a recent graduate of our 36-month Financial Advisor Development Program through Merrill. She excelled at the rigorous training and extensive coursework, and found the seminars and talks from seasoned, successful Financial Advisors to be the most impactful for her learning. On-the-job training and learning through live examples were also invaluable. “Something came up every day that I didn't know – and the resources were there for us to learn…for me that’s the best way to learn. I go through experiencing something that I don’t know how to do, I look it up, and then I do it.


Education is very important to Paula both professionally and personally. Paula grew up watching her mother struggle with various financial aspects like healthcare, taxes, and homeownership while raising three small children. Her mother’s perseverance has resonated with Paula throughout her career, and through her journey to becoming a Financial Advisor she has continually seen the importance for women to be able to close the knowledge gap around finance. Because of this, Paula hosts a monthly seminar for women to learn about important financial topics, at times speaking to these topics herself and other times bringing in experts and specialists in the field. For Paula, the seminars are a natural extension of her role as a Financial Advisor because they help women live better financial lives. “At some point, we all have to make these tough financial decisions.” Paula is helping make these tough decisions a little easier.

Not just for finance backgrounds

Advisor Development is a rigorous set of offerings designed to ensure your success as a financial advisor; yet a common misconception we hear is that you must come from a financial services background in order to be successful in an advisor role. Rather than solely look at background, we look for people with the right combination of characteristics and qualities. Some of the personality traits that are key indicators of success in our programs:

Motivation. A desire to take initiative with a focus on doing what is best for our clients.
. A natural ease engaging and building relationships with current and prospective clients.
. A genuine interest in our business and our purpose to help make financial lives better.
. Not giving up when told no or told something cannot be done.
Confident, while humble
. A core belief in yourself and your abilities, without brashness or bravado.

If this sounds like you, we’d like to talk...

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