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Opinion

Simply marbleous: BofA has erased Merrill Lynch before

Ever wondered why there is a dark stripe in the wall on the way to the Merrill elevators in London?

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Bank of America’s imminent wiping of the Merrill Lynch name from its investment bank isn’t the first erasing of the Merrill legacy at the firm.

Back in the good old days, the Merrill Principles of respect, teamwork, integrity, client focus and citizenship were hard to avoid if you were wandering around Merrill campuses the world over. But after Bank of America bought the firm, they started to disappear.

In most places that was a simple enough process – take down some banners, shred some stationery, that sort of thing. But not in London, where the Principles were carved into the giant blocks of marble that make up the wall running from the security gates to the elevator bank on the ground floor of the King Edward Street office.

If you’ve ever noticed that there is a strip of blocks in the middle of the wall that appears slightly darker than the rest, then you’ve found exactly where the Principles used to be.

But how to go about wiping out those pesky Principles? One way would be to buy some new blocks, but that’s difficult. The Merrill marble was also rather expensive, by all accounts.


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