Bank of America Merrill Lynch has enticed a former BlackRock managing director out of retirement to head its affluent segment and strategy.

Mike Bitterly, a nearly 30-year industry veteran, will oversee implementation of client service standards for Merrill's roughly 13,000 advisors, according to the firm.

The appointment constitutes a reunion for Bitterly and Merrill Lynch, as Bitterly got his start in the industry as a financial advisor at Merrill in 1987.  He enrolled in the firm's management development program in 1996, and in 2002 he joined MLIM where he oversaw global sales. He stayed through the firm's merger with investment manager BlackRock and then became the head of BlackRock's wealth management business in 2006. He announced his retirement in 2013.

In his new role, Bitterly will report to Riley Etheridge, Merrill's head of client segments and advisor development. Bitterly is replacing Ted Durkin who will become complex director for the firm's Delaware Main Line Complex.

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