Bank of America (BAC) sent out an internal email to employees today warning them that a false story was circulating about Merrill Lynch. The email memo went out to employees across America around 1 P.M. today, warning employees to be wary of a story about the firm that the memo said was “fictitious.”
We have a feeling that this was Merrill’s way of trying to calm its employees’ worries over our story about the impending departure of brokerage head Dan Sontag and changes to compensation. Earlier today Merrill Lynch declined our offer to give the firm space for on the record comments denying any specific details of our story.
Now spokeswoman Selena Morris claims the story isn’t true, according to TheStreet.com’s Dan Freed. “It’s completely without merit,” Morris tells Freed. She apparently declined to offer specifics to Freed either, so its hard to tell which part of the story she is denying.
We stand by our story, and we are confident in the accuracy of our reporting and our sources. As we noted in our original story, the planned management shakeup and changes to compensation could be undone by “last minute maneuvers.” One possibility is that the firm will scramble to cover for itself after seeing the reaction to our publication of the management and compensation plans. If anything, we’re hearing that the turmoil at the firm is only increasing, with big time financial advisers contemplating leaving.
Sontag could not be reached directly.