Merrill Lynch Brokers Biting Hand That Could Feed Them

Now that the merging of Merrill Lynch and Bank of America has begun, some of Merrill’s brokers are reportedly griping about the size of the retention bonus offered to them by their new parent company. They should count themselves lucky that they’re getting a position at the merged company let alone a bonus.

NY Post: According to people familiar with the matter, a culture clash between the two banks has reared its head as some of Merrill’s brokers balk at the retention bonuses BofA is offering to keep them on board.

The dissatisfaction has reached such a fever pitch that between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of the 16,800-strong brokerage force – Merrill’s crown jewel – might jump ship, according to some Merrill brokers and Wall Street observers. Merrill officials estimate the departures will amount to no more than 15 per cent of staff, sources said…

Officials declined to comment on criticisms of its bonus pool, but a person close to the situation told The Post the bulk of the bitterness is coming from the lowest-producing advisers – a group Merrill is looking to shed.

Indeed, some brokers have been offered zilch to stay on board the combined team, while those who have been offered bonuses – just 50 per cent of the work force – represent nearly 80 per cent of Merrill’s broker business, this person said.

Good luck looking for jobs elsewhere, guys!

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