Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) is a global financial services firm. It is headquartered in New York, New York and was founded in 1820.
In 2008, Merrill Lynch found itself embroiled in the Subprime mortgage debacle having participated in the sale of mortgage derivatives. With liquidity impared by unmarketable assets, a merger was arranged to rescue the company. Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch.
Bank of America had already begun setting up a retail brokerage division. Acquisition of Merrill Lynch fit nicely with their plans to expand in that area and in wealth management. Merrill Lynch provided a recognized brand name in both areas.
However, the price paid for Merrill Lynch has been questioned. The urgency of the situation allowed little time for the usual due diligence. The value of some acquired assets was later questioned.