Monday, January 30, 2012

Bank of America Still Causing Problems for Merrill Brokers

Bank of America has always been a disaster in the brokerage business, with a long history of mistreatment of its brokers. That outrage became well known when it took over the failing Merrill Lynch in 2008. Bank of America forced brokers out of the firm, by reducing payouts, refusing to pay for business which had already been booked, and for generally not having a clue how to run a brokerage firm. Merrill Lynch was not much better, given the fact that it was virtually bankrupt by the fourth quarter of 2008.

The complete mismanagement of the firm, first by Merrill, compounded by Bank of America, forced brokers to leave the firm, and doing so at their own financial peril, leaving behind significant deferred compensation and outstanding promissory notes. Apparently, staying was even worse.

That trend continues, three years later. On Wall Street is reporting that UBS is hiring teams of Merrill Lynch brokers. In an article "UBS Hires Raft of Veteran Merrill Brokers" Ashley Lau reports that UBS had placed a premium on brokers from Merrill, Bank of America's brokerage unit, by increasing up-front bonuses offered to those who signed before the end of 2011. That move came at the same time that Merrill brokers were about to receive the last of two big payouts on previous incentive plans.

The article continues to say that industry analysts said in early January that they expect to see more defections from Merrill's "Thundering Herd" of brokers, many already frustrated with changes since Bank of America purchased the firm three years ago, after the award payments are made in late January and early February.

We have been representing brokers in transition, contract and promissory note matters for over two decades, and are presently representing former Bank of America and Merrill Lynch brokers with their transition and promissory note issues. We have set up a dedicated email address for inquires from brokers who need assistance with their employment issues with Merrill Lynch, or any other wirehouse - brokers@seclaw.com


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