Rick Merrill was elated last week when Merrill Lynch & Co. announced that it would not change the name of its residential realty arm after it is turned into a master limited partnership.
"Now I can still enjoy being a Merrill and working for Merrill Lynch Realty," he said.
The 33-year-old California native, who has been in the real estate business for 11 years and most recently served Merrill Lynch Realty as president of its Western Pennsylvania division, is the new president of Merrill Lynch Realty, Beverly Hills, and oversees 700 realty agents and 15 sales offices on the Westside.
Nationwide, Merrill Lynch Realty has about 450 offices and 15,000 sales associates.
"Charlie Merrill was my grandfather's name, and that was the same name as the founder of Merrill Lynch," Merrill noted. "The only difference is that my grandfather worked for General Motors." "Actually, retention of the name is perceived as very positive by our associates, because they will be able to own part of the company for which they work. Besides, any time there is a contemplated name change, there is an uncertain future."
For the past few months, the future of Merrill Lynch Realty Associates was uncertain. Its parent company put the residential real estate subsidiary--estimated to be worth $500 million--on the market last September.