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Work experience

Jun 2008Sep 2008

National Internal Sales Director, Americas Distribution Group

Merill Lynch
  • Managed 57 Internal Sales Specialists and 5 Internal Sales Managers responsible for internal sales and distribution of Trust and Estate, Wealth Management, Annuity and Retirement products and services.
  • Initiated pilot to integrate the Retirement and Annuity internal sales desks resulting in an estimated savings of 11 sales people to be reallocated to proactive sales roles.
  • Initiated transition of a reactive internal sales model to a proactive revenue-generating model -conducted over 7,000 outbound prospecting conversations with Financial Advisors (FAs) centered on Merrill Lynch’s (ML’s) national Summer Outreach campaign.
May 2004May 2008

National Sales Manager, Retirement Group

Merrill Lynch
  • Managed 30 Sales Representatives and one Divisional Sales Manager responsible for sales and distribution of Individual Retirement Accounts, 529 and Retirement Plans in the $0 to $5 million-plan space through ML FAs.
  • Delivered $986.9 million of incremental revenue over a period of three and one half years.
  • Fully transformed reactive sales force into one of the most highly regarded proactive wholesaling teams within the industry.  Increased ML Financial Advisor survey ratings from an average score of 3.8 out of 5 points to 4.6.
  • Integrated an IRA sales force with a qualified Retirement Plan sales force to drive sales more effectively through Advisory Group.
  • Instrumental in driving new business acquisition results by instituting Syndication of Goals program for coordinating and leveraging fund partners’ resources and FA training capabilities.
  • Implemented Focus Region initiative to fully integrate Retirement Group into ML Advisory Regional business plans.
  • Instituted and integrated as sales specialist’s contact management tool, enabling monitoring of training, seminar opportunities secured and close ratio for effectiveness reviews.
  • Developed compensation model and business plans in order to strategically and tactically align Retirement Plan Consultant objectives with those of Advisory and the Retirement Group.
Feb 1996Apr 2004

Senior Vice President, Retirement Solutions

  • Initiated and developed the retirement sales territory in the Central Region, centered around selling IRA, 529, Employer Plans and Investment Only products through Financial Advisors of National and Regional Broker/Dealers, Independents and Banks.
  • Partnered with fund wholesalers, bundled retirement plan providers, Third Party Administrators and FA sales management to target and secure large retirement producers.
  • Grew the Central Region into the largest retirement-producing sales territory - $15 million to $525 million in a four-year period.
  • Only Retirement Specialist to be named Senior Vice President.
  • Promoted to Player Coach role to assist the National Sales Manager in management and mentoring of 11 Sales Representatives.

        Sales Record:      Within the top three for all eight years.        Sales Leader:     Invited to Century Club in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003.


Sep 1983Jun 1987

Bachelor of Arts


Core Competencies
Strategic Business Planning, People Leadership, Focused Team Player, New Business Development, Expert Negotiation Skills, Strategic Alliances, Process/Team Reengineering, General Management, Creative/Strategic Selling and Relationship Management


John Carl

SVP at Alliance Bernstein          "Bill is one of the most professional and accomplished individuals I have had the pleasure to work with. Bill was our top regional sales director in the retirement group at Alliance Capital and was subsequently promoted to be our National Sales Manager for the team based on his accomplishments and skill set. Bil possesses tremendous sales leadership and has developed a proven track record as a manager and motivator of others. He also has a high degree of technical and strategic insight across the retirement plan; rollover; mutual fund and annuity marketplace. Bill would be a valuable asset for any organization in the financial services organization.” July 20, 2009

Michael Falcon

National Sales Manager, Retirement Group  “Bill did an outstanding job his entire time as a key leader within the Retirement Group at Merrill Lynch. He is a true professional and was very effective in all aspects of building and managing a successful sales force. Even better, he is a pleasure to work with and was well respected by his colleagues. I'd be happy to offer more detailed specifics to those interested.” November 24, 2008

Jose Eleccion

National Sales Manager, Merrill Lynch Retirement Group            “Bill brings to the table years of exerience in the field and home office management with a keen insight on the sales process. His ability to build strategy is backed with strong analytics and an empirical approach. I have seen Bill execute on a wide variety of initiatives successfuly which I have been able to leverage in my own career. It is an extreme pleasure to have worked with Bill and highly provide my recommendation.”  August 16, 2009

Michael Griffin

National Sales Manager, Merrill Lynch Retirement Group            “Bill was an outstanding leader for the Retirement Group at Merrill Lynch. I reported directly to Bill and in the time we worked together, he was extremely sucessful in motivating and assisting sales representatives consistently meet and exceed goals. Bill was respected as a knowledgeable and approachable manager. I came to consider Bill a friend and sought his advice for many professional decisions. I would strongly recommend Bill as a candidate in any leadership capacity and would be happy to offer more information as needed.” July 14, 2009

Tony Fiore

SVP at AllianceBernstein               "A consummate professional, Bill Collins brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and leadership abilities to the retirement marketplace. As a colleague at AllianceBernstein, Bill's unparalleled work ethic and team leadership served as the benchmark and standard for the entire sales force and led him to the top of our sales division each and every year. I have known Bill for over a decade as a business colleague and later as a business associate during his time at Merrill Lynch. The exponential growth of his sales division came as no surprise to me as he exhibited the same qualities that made us a successful unit at Bernstein. Bill encompasses a unique blend of honor, integrity, and compassion and has been instrumental in my own professional growth and development. I would highly recommend Bill for any engagement and would be happy to provide further reference to this recommendation.” July 29, 2009

Defined Contribution IO Study


Coaching, cooking, reading, running, sailing, skiing and squash


To secure consulting work or a full time position in sales management, product development or marketing in the investment management space.


Nineteen years of progressive advancement in sales and sales management with three industry leaders in the employee benefits and retirement services industry.  Innovative, insightful and decisive leader with expert negotiation and C-suite relationship skills that work together to produce strong results in both new and turnaround situations.  Possess expert leadership skills that develop highly effective teams and a positive, employee-centered culture, leading to greater customer satisfaction and improved bottom line.  Highly regarded for consistently producing exceptional results by exceeding sales goals.

Core Competencies:

Strategic Business Planning, People Leadership, Focused Team Player, New Business Development                Expert Negotiation Skills, Strategic Alliances, Process/Team Reengineering, General Management,             Creative/Strategic Selling and Relationship Management