October 26, 2023
Louis Diamond Quoted
by Miriam Rozen, Mason Braswell and Karmen Alexander
Wirehouse brokers are almost always cynical about the changes their firms make to their compensation calculation each year, but Merrill Lynch’s 2024 plan appears to have garnered a relatively positive response.
Next year’s plan soothes some of the pain points that Merrill brokers and defectors have cited in recent years and could bolster recruiting and retention of the firm’s veteran brokers, according to compensation consultants, recruiters and several brokers at the firm.
Merrill has suffered a steady stream of departures in recent years. Since September 1, at least 19 teams, which managed almost $10.4 billion in clients assets, have left for competitors, according to an AdvisorHub analysis of published stories about moves.
“They did a really good job of seemingly listening to people’s complaints,” said Louis Diamond, a recruiter, who has helped rivals hire Merrill brokers. “This was an olive branch to the field.”
With the new plan, Merrill managers eliminated the brokerage’s five-year-old growth grid, which included yearly penalties for those who did not increase their book of clients and assets. They also reversed a policy that was introduced this year and reduced credit for brokers’ transactional-based revenues.