Compensation Watch ’17: Merrill Lynch

Kinky BofA wants to watch Merrill brokers sweat.
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Allow me to introduce you to my dear friend, some banker at the BofA branch next door. By roanokecollege [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Allow me to introduce you to my dear friend, some banker at the BofA branch next door. By roanokecollege [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The good news for Merrill brokers is that, unlike their colleagues at Morgan Stanley, they won’t have to drum up any new business to keep getting paid at the same rate next year. At least, not for themselves. As you may have heard, things are a little tight these days at Merrill’s parent, Bank of America. And brokers, BriMo & co. really need your help, because they are running out of people to fire. So start talking up all of the other wonderful services BofA can offer, or face some paycheck streamlining.

At Merrill, brokers who fail to refer at least two customers in 2017 to other parts of Bank of America—including its online brokerage platform Merrill Edge, its retail bank and other units—will have 1% shaved from their take-home pay or deferred compensation, depending on how much they produce in fees and commissions, people with knowledge of the matter said. That is up from one referral this year….

“When you have a referral that goes across business lines, it’s always a tricky thing,” said Alois Pirker, a research director at Boston consulting firm Aite Group. “There is a fine line. As soon as you put in place strong incentives and goals, you create conflict.”

Get with the program, Alois. There’s no such thing as “risk” or a “conflict of interest” anymore, at least not one that can’t be papered over. Just ask the boss.

President-elect Donald J. Trump is considering formally turning over the operational responsibility for his real estate company to his two adult sons, but he intends to keep a stake in the business and resist calls to divest, according to several people briefed on the discussions.

Merrill Brokers Get Ultimatum: Refer New Customers or Face a Pay Cut [WSJ]
Donald Trump Is Said to Intend to Keep a Stake in His Business [NYT]
How Donald Trump’s Web of LLCs Obscures His Business Interests [WSJ]

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