Bank of America wields ‘big, fat stick,’ Merrill brokers say

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in Hiring,Human Resources

No sooner had Charlotte-based Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch, it issued a revised broker-retention plan that some called downright scary.

“Here’s our first taste of Bank of America,” Tim Welsh, an industry consultant, told Investment News, “and it’s a big, fat stick.”

Merrill’s current policy allows brokers to take some client information along when leaving the company without threat of a lawsuit. Under Bank of America ownership, Merrill brokers who leave the firm to join a competitor may be hit with a temporary restraining order if they take their “books” with them. Merrill Lynch brokers have also griped that Bank of America’s commission plans are not competitive.

Merrill spokesman Mark Herr said Bank of America’s offer “does not change any of the rights or obligations that exist for our financial advisors under the protocol for broker recruiting,” Investment News reported.

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