Helping Others ‘Brings Me Great Joy’: A Discussion With an Award-Winning Wealth Management Associate

Sponsored by Merrill

Heather DiBrizzi

Photo courtesy of Merrill.

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Fairygodboss
May 27, 2024 at 9:22AM UTC

“Our firm is so supportive of family, mental health, diversity and our LGBTQ+ community,” says Heather DiBrizzi, a Wealth Management Client Associate in the Tampa Bay Market for Merrill, a Bank of America company. 

“It was amazing to see the assistance our firm offered to so many employees during the pandemic and through this day. In addition to the amount of give back and volunteer programs Bank of America and Merrill are involved with, it's really nice to know how invested our firm is in our community.”

And this company culture of giving back is only one of many things that DiBrizzi loves about her company and her work — which she tells us that she fell into. “I was in college and didn’t really know what I wanted to do career-wise, so I signed up for an internship,” shares DiBrizzi. “They assigned me to work at a financial firm, and I worked there part-time until I graduated college and was hired at Bank of America Investment Services, Inc. as a Client Associate.

Now, at Merrill, her current day-to-day involves, “providing dedicated service to our clients and operational and business growth support to my Financial Advisors,” DiBrizzi says. “Every day is different, and I strive to provide our clients with world-class service.”

“I love what I do and working for this firm; I can’t imagine myself working anywhere else,” states DiBrizzi.

To learn more about becoming a Client Associate and how Merrill supports employees like her, we reached out to DiBrizzi — who has an award-winning track record in the field (during her 16 years as a Client Associate, DiBrizzi won the firm’s top 100 for Responsible Service and Growth award for six years, and she is currently serving on a leadership council as the Client Associate Digital Network Chair). Keep reading to hear what she has to say. 

You started as a Client Associate and are now a Wealth Management Associate. How did the Bank of America Client Associate career path appeal to you?  

We are an integral part of our Financial Advisors team. I view us as partners because we play an important role in transacting business and keeping our team on track toward our goals. We aren’t just servicing and processing transactions, we also get to know our clients personally. And, because we work so closely with our Financial Advisors clients, we are able to identify opportunities and grow the business by uncovering life events that could turn into legacy planning. I love knowing that I am a part of the success within my team.

How did the bank help prepare you for going down the Client Associate track? And how did it support you as you grew within the Client Associate role?

When I started as a Client Associate here, the bank was developing a formal Client Associate training program; however, through the help of my peers and mentors, I have learned a lot over the years, which has contributed to my success. A lot of that guidance and mentoring is now part of the Bank training program.

What’s great about working at Merrill and being a part of a leadership council is that I was able to be part of a focus group to help senior leadership create a successful formal training program for all of our new-hire Client Associates. Additionally I was able to take part in the Wealth Management Academy, which has provided me with training on leadership skills that I use every day in my current role.

What are your favorite things about your job?

I have always loved connecting with our clients and providing them with the best service they deserve. Being a problem solver and direct line whenever our clients need anything brings me great joy.

Also, our firm has created leadership councils that Client Associates get to be a part of — which is great! I have a passion for our firm’s technology and digital tools and love assisting home office builds and troubleshooting all of our new enhancements. Knowing that our firm values our voice and opinion on our day-to-day life really makes me feel very appreciated

What skills or tools do you find help you flourish in this role? How do you approach your day?

Always prioritize your tasks, answer the phone with a smile and embrace change. Our jobs are different every single day, and there will be challenges that you may have never seen before. The best way to tackle that is to prioritize your tasks and always remember there are only eight hours in a day. 

I can firmly say that, being in this role for 16 years, I have seen a huge evolution of the investment world as well as the technology we use to assist clients. Always be willing to embrace change because that is one thing that is constant

What’s your best advice for other women who are considering a Client Associate role?

There are a lot of options for your career path here at Merrill, starting with the Client Associate role. This role can fully prepare you for any other career choices you may decide on pursuing, such as a Client Associate Manager or Financial Advisor. There are even plenty of options within your Client Associate role since Merrill has created amazing Elite Growth Practice options! 

Also, I can’t say enough about the connections and network I created in my Client Associate role. Partnering with the home office and working with senior leadership and our Wealth Management Bankers opens the door for even more career path options. Merrill Lynch and Bank of America are huge companies with a plethora of choices depending on what motivates and excites you.



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