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THE ARTICLE

Merrill Lynch is now the investment banking and wealth management arm of Bank of America (B of A). It was a publicly owned company before it was bought by B of A in 2009. What had been Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc suffered badly in the 2008 global financial crisis and had to be rescued. The company was founded on Wall Street, New York in 1914 by Charles E. Merrill and Edmund C. Lynch. They made many clever investments to build their reputation as investment bankers. It later expanded into financial services, insurance and investment management. Its 20,000 brokers were so powerful in global finance they became known as the “thundering herd” – a reference to the bull in its logo. The company has 60,000 employees. The ML.com website outlines the firm’s success: “Working with our clients as strategic partners, we create and execute winning solutions.”


 

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WARM UPS



 

1. BRAINSTORM CHAT: Write all the words you can think of about Merrill Lynch on the board or on a piece of paper. Talk about these words with your partner(s).

2. MERRILL LYNCH MORNING: Each student pretends to be an employee of Merrill Lynch. They walk around the class and talk about the company and their job.

3. RUMOURS: Each student writes down a pretend rumour about Merrill Lynch. They then walk around the class and talk to other students about their rumour.

4. GOOD AND BAD: Brainstorm good and bad things about Merrill Lynch and write them on the board. Students talk about these in pairs.

5. TRUE OR FALSE: Students find out several facts about Merrill Lynch. They write these down and add the same number of things about the company that are false. Students test each other on which of their points are true or false.

6. FACTS: In groups, students write down as many facts as they can about Merrill Lynch. The winner is the group with the most facts. Teacher may wish to have groups share their facts to make sure they are real.

*  LISTENING / READING GAP FILL

Merrill Lynch is now the investment banking and wealth ____________________ Bank of America (B of A). It was a publicly owned company ____________________ B of A in 2009. What had been Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc ____________________ 2008 global financial crisis and had to be rescued. The company was founded on Wall Street, New York in 1914 by Charles E. Merrill and Edmund C. Lynch. They ____________________ investments to build their reputation as investment bankers. ______________________ financial services, insurance and investment management. Its 20,000 ____________________ in global finance they became known as the “thundering herd” – ____________________ in its logo. The company has 60,000 employees. The ML.com website outlines the firm’s success: “Working with our clients as strategic partners, we ____________________ winning solutions.”

*  CORRECT THE SPELLING

Merrill Lynch is now the investment banking and twaelh management arm of Bank of America (B of A). It was a publicly wodne company before it was bought by B of A in 2009. What had been Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc esefdufr badly in the 2008 global financial crisis and had to be sdurcee. The company was founded on Wall Street, New York in 1914 by Charles E. Merrill and Edmund C. Lynch. They made many clever investments to build their reputation as investment bankers. It later dapdexne into financial services, insurance and investment management. Its 20,000 skrbero were so powerful in global finance they became known as the “thundering herd” – a rcerenfee to the bull in its logo. The company has 60,000 employees. The ML.com website tniseulo the firm’s success: “Working with our clients as rgsatciet partners, we create and execute winning iolusnots.”

*  UNJUMBLE THE WORDS

Merrill Lynch is the now wealth and banking investment management arm of Bank of America (B of A). It was a bought was it before company owned publicly by B of A in 2009. What had been Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc suffered financial global 2008 the in badly and crisis had to be rescued. The company was founded on Wall Street, New York in 1914 by Charles E. Merrill and Edmund C. Lynch. made They to investments clever many build their reputation as investment bankers. It later expanded into financial services, insurance and investment management. powerful 000 in brokers Its were 20 so , global finance they became known as the “thundering herd” – to reference a logo its in bull the. The company has 60,000 employees. The ML.com website outlines the firm’s success: “strategic as clients our with Working partners, we solutions winning execute and create.”

*  INSERT THE VOWELS

M_rr_ll Lynch _s n_w th_ _nv_stm_nt b_nk_ng _nd w__lth m_n_g_m_nt _rm _f B_nk _f _m_r_c_ (B _f _). _t w_s _ p_bl_cly _wn_d c_mp_ny b_f_r_ _t w_s b__ght by B _f _ _n 2009. Wh_t h_d b__n M_rr_ll Lynch & C_., _nc s_ff_r_d b_dly _n th_ 2008 gl_b_l f_n_nc__l cr_s_s _nd h_d t_ b_ r_sc__d. Th_ c_mp_ny w_s f__nd_d _n W_ll Str__t, N_w Y_rk _n 1914 by Ch_rl_s _. M_rr_ll _nd _dm_nd C. Lynch. Th_y m_d_ m_ny cl_v_r _nv_stm_nts t_ b__ld th__r r_p_t_t__n _s _nv_stm_nt b_nk_rs. _t l_t_r _xp_nd_d _nt_ f_n_nc__l s_rv_c_s, _ns_r_nc_ _nd _nv_stm_nt m_n_g_m_nt. _ts 20,000 br_k_rs w_r_ s_ p_w_rf_l _n gl_b_l f_n_nc_ th_y b_c_m_ kn_wn _s th_ “th_nd_r_ng h_rd” – _ r_f_r_nc_ t_ th_ b_ll _n _ts l_g_. Th_ c_mp_ny h_s 60,000 _mpl_y__s. Th_ ML.c_m w_bs_t_ __tl_n_s th_ f_rm’s s_cc_ss: “W_rk_ng w_th __r cl__nts _s str_t_g_c p_rtn_rs, w_ cr__t_ _nd _x_c_t_ w_nn_ng s_l_t__ns.”

*  PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

merrill lynch is now the investment banking and wealth management arm of bank of america (b of a) it was a publicly owned company before it was bought by b of a in 2009 what had been merrill lynch & co inc suffered badly in the 2008 global financial crisis and had to be rescued the company was founded on wall street new york in 1914 by charles e merrill and edmund c lynch they made many clever investments to build their reputation as investment bankers it later expanded into financial services insurance and investment management its 20000 brokers were so powerful in global finance they became known as the “thundering herd” – a reference to the bull in its logo the company has 60000 employees the mlcom website outlines the firm’s success “working with our clients as strategic partners we create and execute winning solutions”

*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT TENSE

Merrill Lynch .......... (be) now the investment banking and wealth management arm of Bank of America (B of A). It .......... (be) a publicly owned company before it was bought by B of A in 2009. What had .......... (be) Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc suffered badly in the 2008 global financial crisis and .......... (have) to be rescued. The company was .......... (found) on Wall Street, New York in 1914 by Charles E. Merrill and Edmund C. Lynch. They .......... (make) many clever investments to build their reputation as investment bankers. It later .......... (expand) into financial services, insurance and investment management. Its 20,000 brokers .......... (be) so powerful in global finance they became known as the “thundering herd” – a reference to the bull in its logo. The company .......... (have) 60,000 employees. The ML.com website .......... (outline) the firm’s success: “Working with our clients as strategic partners, we .......... (create) and .......... (execute) winning solutions.”

*  REWRITE WITH SPACES

MerrillLynchisnowtheinvestmentbankingandwealthmanagementarmofBankofAmerica(BofA).
ItwasapubliclyownedcompanybeforeitwasboughtbyBofAin2009.WhathadbeenMerrillLynch&
Co.,Incsufferedbadlyinthe2008globalfinancialcrisisandhadtoberescued.Thecompanywas
foundedonWallStreet,NewYorkin1914byCharlesE.MerrillandEdmundC.Lynch.Theymade
manycleverinvestmentstobuildtheirreputationasinvestmentbankers.Itlaterexpandedinto
financialservices,insuranceandinvestmentmanagement.Its20,000brokersweresopowerful
inglobalfinancetheybecameknownasthe“thunderingherd”–areferencetothebullinitslogo.
Thecompanyhas60,000employees.TheML.comwebsiteoutlinesthefirm’ssuccess:“Working
withourclientsasstrategicpartners,wecreateandexecutewinningsolutions.”

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*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

Merrill Lynch is now the investment banking and wealth management ___________ of Bank of America (B of A). It was a publicly ___________ company before it was bought by B of A in 2009. What had been Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc suffered ___________ in the 2008 global financial crisis and had to be ___________. The company was founded on Wall Street, New York in 1914 by Charles E. Merrill and Edmund C. Lynch. They made many ___________ investments to build their reputation as investment bankers. It later ___________ into financial services, insurance and investment management. Its 20,000 ___________ were so powerful in global finance they became known as the “thundering herd” – a ___________ to the bull in its logo. The company has 60,000 employees. The ML.com website outlines the firm’s success: “Working with our clients as ___________ partners, we create and execute winning ___________.”

 

 

owned
rescued
brokers
arm
reference
strategic
expanded
badly
solutions
clever

*  PROJECT MERRILL LYNCH

Part 1. Your mission is to increase the profits and sales of Merrill Lynch. Complete this  table with your project partner(s):

Main products

 

 

 

How to improve them

 

 

 

A brand new ‘killer’ product

 

How Merrill Lynch is better than the competition

 

How to beat the competition

 

Part 2. Change partners and look at their project. Suggest improvements. Ask for advice on your project:

Part 3. Make a presentation on your project. Give it to the class. Vote the best projects.

*  MERRILL LYNCH – ROLE PLAY 1

Role  A – Merrill Lynch CEO

You believe your company is the best in the world. It pays its workers very well and working conditions are great. Your company is very green – it cares about the environment. You think your levels of customer service are great. Disagree with person B, C and D.

Role  B – Merrill Lynch worker

You think it’s a bad company to work for. You’re very unhappy with pay, raises and bonuses. You are very unhappy with the working environment. You don’t like the company’s policy on the environment. You keep hearing profits are more important than customers. Disagree with A and C. Tell D the truth.

Role  C – Merrill Lynch customer

You are a customer of Merrill Lynch. You used to think it was great, but not now. Its workers are always very rude. No one ever answers the phone. You are shocked about its policy on the environment. You think all staff should get less pay. You disagree with person A and B. Tell D the truth.

Role  D – A journalist

You keep hearing bad things about Merrill Lynch. You want to tell the world in your newspaper. You heard the CEO gets a huge bonus every year. You found a company memo saying profits are more important than the environment. You want to know why so many staff are ill. Find the truth.

*  MERRILL LYNCH – ROLE PLAY 2

Role  A – Merrill Lynch New Products Director

You have created a new product for Merrill Lynch. You believe the new product will be the company’s best ever. It will be a bestseller. There are people who do not agree with you. You need B, C and D on your side. Tell them why this is a product that will bring great things to Merrill Lynch.

Role  B – Merrill Lynch Marketing Director

You think the company’s new product is a really bad idea. It will give your company a really bad name. You think the New Products Director is trying to destroy the company. Try to get him/her to understand there’s no way the new product will sell. Try to get person C and D on your side.

Role  C – Merrill Lynch Market Researcher

You have interviewed thousands of people about the new product. They don’t like it or hate it. You think it will be successful if they make many changes. Tell the New Products Director he/she needs to change the product. You neither like nor trust person B. Disagree will him/her.

Role  D – Merrill Lynch Shareholder

You know a lot about Merrill Lynch’s new product. You are worried it will not sell and share prices will go down. You think A is crazy and must find a new job. You agree with everything B says. You don’t agree with C. The new product should not go on the market.

*  JOB INTERVIEW ROLE PLAY

INTERVIEWER  (Write the questions you want to ask the candidate.)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

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4.

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5.

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6.

________________________________________________________

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INTERVIEWEE  (Write questions you want to ask the interviewer.)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

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3.

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4.

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5.

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6.

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*  DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

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2.

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3.

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4.

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5.

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6.

________________________________________________________

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STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

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3.

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4.

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5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

*  MERRILL LYNCH SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about Merrill Lynch in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

*  WRITING 1 – SPEED WRITING

Write anything about Merrill Lynch for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

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*  WRITING 2 – LETTER OF COMPLAINT

Write a letter to Merrill Lynch. Complain about one of its products. Ask for a refund. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

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*  WRITING 3 – LETTER OF APOLOGY

Write a letter of apology to the customer. Explain why you cannot give a refund. Show your partner your letter. Correct each other’s work.

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*  HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET INFO: Search the Internet and find more information about Merrill Lynch. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Merrill Lynch. What have they done recently? What are their plans? Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. MERRILL LYNCH POSTER Make a poster about Merrill Lynch. Make sure you sell the company to the public.  Show it to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your posters.

5. MY MERRILL LYNCH LESSON: Make your own English lesson on Merrill Lynch. Make sure there is a good mix of things to do. Find some good online activities. Teach the class / another group when you have finished.

6. ONLINE SHARING: Use your blog, wiki, Facebook page, MySpace page, Twitter stream, Del-icio-us / StumbleUpon account, or any other social media tool to get opinions on Merrill Lynch. Share your findings with the class.

ANSWERS

You can check your answers to these activities by looking at the article at the top of this page.

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