Merrill FAs Playing Hardball With Retention Packag

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Nov 5, 2008 5:14 am

The top 50 financial advisors at Merrill Lynch aren’t happy with the wording of their retention package, and they’ve taken the first step towards getting changes made by collectively hiring a lawyer.

According to a source at the firm, the top 50 FAs met in a conference room last Friday morning and heard from a securities attorney (via conference call) who “ripped the retention contract to shreds.” The FAs coughed up $500 each for the services of the unnamed attorney, who will be presenting a revised copy of the retention contract to management as soon as possible.

The source—in on the conference call—stated that the attorney “didn’t have anything positive to say about the contract—or Bank of America.” However, the source added that the attorney’s criticism was primarily focused on the “TRO” language of the contract, a chief concern for FAs considering signing the retention agreement, as Bank of America is not part of the so-called Broker Protocol.

To read a fast and furious chronological evolution of this complicated deal, click here, here and here.

Merrill Lynch declined to comment. If you have any additional information about this, we’d love to hear about it.