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BlackRock brand switch will be a ‘big bang’

The Merrill Lynch Investment Managers’ brand could soon be history, with BlackRock testing the water about a sooner than expected rebrand.

BlackRock merged with Merrill Lynch in September 2006, acquiring Merrill’s investment arm in exchange for 49 per cent of the new BlackRock business.

BlackRock managing director Richard Royds says as part of the deal, MLIM has until October 2009 to drop the Merrill Lynch branding as part of a sunset clause.

He says: “It is going to take time to replicate the success of a brand name like MLIM in the UK market but we are going to be dropping that name. The timing depends purely on our research of how much fire-power BlackRock has garnered as a marketing tool.

“But it will be a big bang when it does happen. We will not slowly reduce the Merrill Lynch name in the marketplace but simply change it completely over to BlackRock when the time is right.”

BestInvest senior investment adviser Hugo Shaw says: “Merrill Lynch Investment Managers has always been known as an associate of the massive US ban, and was something of an ano-maly to investors. Going to the BlackRock name almost gives them a clean slate.”


Threshold rise still sees 40% in tax trap

Almost four in 10 homeowners will still be caught in the inheritance tax net despite the increase in the nil-rate band, warns Scottish Widows.The firm says 4.8 million people’s properties alone are worth more than the £300,000 threshold with 9.4 million people with total estates which exceed the limit.Despite the threshold increase to £300,000, 37 […]

5% Slump in young people taking out life insurance

The number of young people buying life cover has fallen by 5 per cent in the past year, according to Lifesearch.The protection company released its new business figures,which showed that people aged 35 years and under buying some form of life cover had fallen by 5 per cent to 31 per cent in the 12 […]

Inflation adjusted

Nick Kirwan, protection marketing manager at Scottish Widows, says advisers should assess their individual clients’ personal rate of inflation when it comes to considering protection needs.

GE firms are turning to Tomorrow

GE Life and GE Pensions have rebranded as Tomorrow following Swiss Re’s takeover of the retirement specialist last October.The new brand name was exclusively revealed by last week.The brand identity has been created by design consultants Kent Lyons and a series of advertisements using the new branding will be appearing in the trade press.The […]


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