Merrill Lynch: Supernova Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


Merrill Lynch was founded in the year 1907 where the company rapidly grew in the financial market. By the end of 1970 s, Merrill Lynch became one of the most powerful investments banking force along with retail brokerage. Moreover, in the year 2000, the company described itself as “the finest financial management and advisory company that serves the institutions, governments and investors around the globe.

By the end of 2003, the company became of the leading financial service firms and it also became the largest broker dealer form on the Wall Street. Moreover, Merrill Lynch has the highest number of financial advisors than any other company in the industry, which confirms the success of the firm[1].

Furthermore, the case depicts the situation where Merrill Lynch has introduced a new client relationship technique, which is called the Supernova at the Merrill Lynch Indianapolis branches.

Since the company has been quite a revolution in the financial advisory market, therefore, it launched Supernova on trial basis in Indianapolis offices to analyse the response of the customers and the financial advisors simultaneously.


Supernova was introduced by Rob Knapp who has been the head of Mid West District office where the customer satisfaction was ranked last amongst the 32 districts where Merrill Lynch has been operating. However, in the next eighteen months, the district was ranked fourth after it implemented Supernova within the company. Supernova has provides services to the client, client acquisition and also a practice management model that has been driving an explosive acceleration in terms of revenue and the overall client satisfaction where the plan has capitalized upon the business rule which is 80-20.

The model serves a small number of customers or clients rather than focusing on increasing number of clients every day. This has been the true essence of Supernova, which has helped the company to serve a specific number of clients by providing them complete support in all aspects.

Prior to the induction of Supernova at the company, the financial advisors hardly met the clients, contacted them or even solved their problems. However, with the introduction of Supernova, the client got the opportunity to talk with the financial advisor at least twelve times a year.

Problem Statement

            The major problem that has been identified in the case “Merrill Lynch: Supernova” is the fact that Merrill Lynch introduced a new method of managing client relationship, which was initially started off in Indianapolis offices. As the case indicates, during the trial period of Supernova at Indianapolis offices, it showed improved results amongst the clients and also the financial advisors as a whole[2].

            However, the concept also challenged the already installed method in which the financial advisors were basically rewarded for the number of clients. Therefore, the management of Merrill Lynch has to decide whether it should roll out Supernova across the country or not.

Situation Analysis

The situation that has been presented in the case depicts the fact that the company is considering taking a decision on implementing Supernova across all the offices operating in the country by Merrill Lynch.

The company has been quite successful with its implementation of Supernova in Indianapolis, which was ranked number 32 prior to installing Supernova. With the successful implementation of Supernova at Indianapolis, the company needs to decide whether it is a feasible enough option to be implemented countrywide.Mars Incorporated Online Procurement Case Solution

The major stakeholders in the company are the clients, and the financial advisors who have been the key component for Merrill Lynch.The company lies in the pure service quadrant under the goods-service continuum. Moreover, the company offers intangible dominants.

Along with this, the service characteristics that are offered by Merrill Lynch to the clients in the financial investment industry are basically providing the clients with the opportunity to purchase financial products from the market that can earn reasonable returns to the clients. Moreover, the company also offers after sales service in terms of meeting with the clients on bi annual basis to resolve customer queries and resolve issues simultaneously[3]...............

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