The partnership connects Merrill Lynch clients with Virtuoso agents. // © 2015 Thinkstock
Global wealth management firm Merrill Lynch has formed an exclusive partnership with Virtuoso in order to connect clients with leading travel agents.
Why It Matters:
The new relationship is part of Merrill Lynch Clear, a program that helps people navigate retirement while prioritizing certain life goals, including leisure travel. Virtuoso agents will now provide Merrill Lynch clients with high-touch travel services before and during travel to ensure successful experiences.
Merrill Lynch clients also have the added bonus of tapping into Virtuoso’s exclusive benefits and specialty partners, including luxury resorts.
- Merrill Lynch Clear first launched in May 2014 and was the result of extensive research about what matters to clients nearing retirement or already retired.
- The program is designed to help clients plan for seven life priorities: health, home, family, finance, giving, work and leisure.
- Virtuoso is a by-invitation-only organization comprised of 355 agencies with thousands of elite travel specialists in 25 countries throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and Europe.
What They Are Saying:
“For many of our clients, traveling is the number one activity they look forward to in retirement,” said David Tyrie, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “This relationship gives our financial advisors and their clients a terrific resource to broaden the retirement planning conversation and to help clients make the most of their free time.”
“Today’s retirees are traveling with more passion and a greater appetite for new experiences than ever, combining adventure and learning, and actively exploring destinations around the globe,” said Matthew Upchurch, chairman and CEO of Virtuoso. “Meeting their evolving travel goals requires thoughtful and inventive planning with trusted advisors. Working with Merrill Lynch to serve their clients seeking to stay active and live their lives to the fullest is a natural fit.”
“We are very excited that Merrill Lynch, one of the world’s most respected financial institutions, has selected Virtuoso and our advisors to service the travel component of its Clear Platform,” said David Kolner, senior vice president of consumer for Virtuoso. “For years now, we’ve drawn the parallel between financial advisors and travel advisors because they’ve gone through a similar evolution, moving from something akin to order takers to trusted advisors. Today’s announcement between Merrill Lynch and Virtuoso solidifies that notion. This an opportunity to attract and cultivate new, high-end clients who are already familiar with and find value in working with a professional advisor.”