Merrill Raises Payouts in Retirement Transition Plan, Tweaks “Inheritor” Payoffs
November 6, 2019
Mindy Diamond Quoted
By Jed Horowitz and Mason Braswell
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management unveiled long-anticipated changes to its account-transition program for retiring brokers on Wednesday, adding five to 75 percentage points to the payouts brokers can receive over five to seven years after selling their “books” to colleagues.
Merrill sweetened the program and made other tweaks—including guaranteeing the starting payout as a floor for age-eligible brokers in top-recognition clubs and those with at least 20 years’ experience, even if production revenue from their transitioned clients falls—to compete with improvements UBS and Morgan Stanley made in their programs in 2017 and 2018, respectively, according to a senior executive and some advisors who said they had lobbied for revisions.
Mindy Diamond, an industry recruiter based in Morristown, New Jersey, who has hired advisors away from Merrill Lynch, said that the payout amounts in the program appear to be “very compelling” and competitive with signing deals they could get by jumping. She warned inheriting advisors in all firm programs, however, to be aware of strict non-solicitation clauses on inherited accounts should they leave.