Merrill Lynch Turns 100 - 5 Core Principles That Led It This Far

On January 6 Merrill Lynch will celebrate its 100 year anniversary. Former Chairman of Merrill Lynch International and son of one of ML's founders, Winthrop H. Smith Jr. reflects on its colorful history.
January 02, 2014

Need for Teamwork

There exists a need for teamwork even in an organization that services the client. This calls for some subtle things in terms of how leaders manage. "One example in my case," says Win. "I was senior manager, and I was complaining about a lack of service from the operations and service side. My colleague said, have you spoken to the head of operations? I said no, so he brought him over and I spoke directly to him and not around his pack… It was a great message of saying we work together, we work problems out and operate as a team."

"If we have separate plans we focus on own operations, but if we're all intertwined we work differently and want to help people succeed instead of focusing on simple areas," he adds. As such compensation for senior executives was largely based on results of the company, not just their own division.

The first history of Merrill Lynch, Catching Lightning in a Bottle: How Merrill Lynch Revolutionized the Financial World, by Win Smith can be purchased here.

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Winthrop H. Smith Jr.

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