Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bank of America Signs Protocol?

Rumors are circulating that Bank of American has signed the Broker Recruiting Protocol.

Does anyone have a signature copy? I would love to see a copy - astarita@beamlaw.com

Signing the protocol will be a benefit to the Merrill brokers who are signing the retention bonuses, and a boon to those BoA brokers who have been with the firm.

But how much of a benefit is it? BoA is till pressuring brokers to sign their retention agreements by Friday, the same retention agreement that contains language that directly conflicts with the protocol. Which one controls? The answer is, who knows?

And the smart money is betting that BoA will take the position that the transition bonus, signed after BoA signed the protocol trumps the protocol. Sound far fetched? Not if you have litigated with banks and firms on behalf of brokers it doesn't.

Those transition agreements need to be re-written, if not entirely trashed. And now Merrill brokers are reporting that managers are telling them to sign the transition agreements, and they can still leave without consequences.

Attention all Merrill Brokers - in response to any manager who tells you to sign the agreement and you can still leave - ask him to put it in writing. If he doesn't, he isn't being candid.

The reality is, odds are that if you sign that agreement, you have agreed to the terms, even if you leave before you receive the check.
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