Banking: BofA hires wealth advisers; Circle, Bank of Marin earnings rise

Bank of America has hired 10 advisers across Sonoma and Marin counties for its Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisers division.

Expanding on the integration of wealth management at the bank after it merged with investment firm Merrill Lynch in 2009, the “financial solution advisers” will target customers with investable assets between $50,000 and $250,000.

Customers who maintain more than $50,000 in deposit balances at Bank of America or an investment balance with Merrill Edge will receive personalized attention from advisers, according to the bank.

The new staff is part of 80 new hires across the bank’s metro Northwest region, which includes San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento and Las Vegas. With the new hires, a grand total of 120 advisers are now working in the Northwest region.

The bank hopes to double the number of Merrill Edge advisers nationally — to 1,000 — by the end of the year.***

Novato-based Circle Bank posted its 49th-consecutive profitable quarter this week, surpassing its net income in the second quarter by 51.8 percent.

The bank’s parent company, Circle Bancorp, reported a net income applicable to common shareholders of $215,000 from July through September, a 3.8 percent increase in income compared to Q3 2010.

That income equates to $0.19 diluted earnings per share, up 2 cents from the same quarter last year.

Circle Bank lowered its percentage of nonperforming assets compared to one year ago from 2.47 percent to 1.79 percent, according to the bank's release.

The bank had $317 million in assets at the end of September. Net loans decreased, by $269,000, to $243.8 million. Total equity increased by $484,000, to $15.99 million. The net interest margin remained stable, 4.7 percent compared to 4.6 percent at the same point last year.

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