Bank of America Corp. is beefing up its wealth management team by hiring more than 80 financial advisors in the metro Northwest region.

The company said that the hiring spree is part of its plan to almost double the number of its Merrill Edge advisors nationally, to more than 1,000 by the end of the current year.

The advisors will work with preferred customers who have between $50,000 and $250,000 in investable assets, which is one of the fastest growing segments in the financial services industry, Bank of America said in the press release. The new hires will work in areas like San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento and Las Vegas, bringing the total number of advisors in that region to approximately 120.

Additionally, as part of its preferred service strategy, the company is working to increase customer service. Platinum Privileges will be launched nationally for customers who maintain $50,000 or more in deposits with Bank of America or investment balances with Merrill Edge. The program, which was piloted in three states earlier this year, provides more service and benefits to its customers.

Merrill Edge will offer an additional 481 new no-transaction-fee mutual funds. One thousand small-business bankers will be hired in local communities and specialty stores that provide in-person access to investment, small business and mortgage specialists will be introduced.

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