Merrill retention issue

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Oct 21, 2008 12:10 am

LOS 6 on a 2 broker team producing about 1.5MM...My split is approximately 350K


All indications are that my partner will be entitled to a retention bonus and I won't.  He has also told me that he won't be sharing any part of the retention package with me.  As a matter of principle do I consider leaving Merrill or breaking of the partnership?
Oct 21, 2008 12:22 am

He deserves a retention, you don't. So what's the issue?

Oct 21, 2008 12:27 am

He was a 400k producer when I joined the team straight out of college.  If it wasn't for me, he wouldn't have the retention package.  I do about 45% of the business and brought in 40% of assets.  Perhaps I should have re-considered the partnership even before the retention package concerns.  At any rate, I just want to make sure I am not overlooking anything before making a decision.

Oct 21, 2008 1:39 am

You can think about "principals" all day, but should ultimately make your decision on the resulting effect on your bank account. It doesn't sound like you believe the partnership benefits you in general, so why not just jump ship and take as many of the accounts as you can.

Oct 21, 2008 6:30 am

Not trying to stir the pot, but if that is a 1.5mm team, and you do 45% of the "business", how does that equate to 350K??  I am no math genius, but I must be missing something here.  If you are inlying that you do 45% of the total work that it takes to be a 1.5mm team, then your partner is a genius.  Perhaps you have stayed this long out of loyalty, and atnight when you are all alone you ask yourself, I am 27 years old, and I make 140K a year....yippppeeee!!!!!!!  In all seriousness, there comes a time that you have to make a decision.  First of all, your partner is an idiot if he lets you bolt, under the assumption what you say is true.  Let's say he gets 50% retention (750K), if I were him, I would happily give you 75K to keep you as a partner, knowing you do 45% of the work. 

 
For what it is worth, if you do not do 400K on your own, regardless of what the partnership does, you can not get deferred comp, so I think that is the benchmark number you should use.  Also, I am in a partnership, will do about 650K this year, and if I get a retention bonus, I never planned to share it with my junior partner. 
Oct 21, 2008 7:53 am

I cannot attest to the accuracy of this website, but this sounds interesting.  If what they say is true, I would imagine there are going to be some dissapointed folks.

 
http://www.wallstreetletter.com/ArticleLogin.aspx?ArticleID=2032079
Oct 21, 2008 3:42 pm

The only reason this guy gets a golden parachute is on the backs of MER FAs....making the firm a valued takeover target to BAC...makes you sick as you sort out the winners and losers in these deals....

NEW YORK (Reuters) –
Merrill Lynch & Co's (MER.N)
head of strategy will likely leave the bank with as much as $25 million
in compensation, while three other top executives are set to stay at
the firm once it combines with Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), according to media reports.



The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Merrill's global strategy head, former Goldman Sachs executive Peter Kraus, will not stay on. Instead, he will pick up a paycheck worth $10 million to $25 million, the newspaper said.



Three other senior executives will be given positions at Bank of America, CNBC reported.



Greg Fleming, president and chief operating officer at Merrill, will be named head of corporate and investment banking, while Tom Montag, head of global sales and trading at Merrill, will take a similar role at Bank of America, according to CNBC.



Bob McCann, Merrill's vice chairman and president responsible for global wealth management, will head the wealth management business at Bank of America, the network said.



A Merrill Lynch spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.



Kraus will receive an exit payment because the takeover by Bank of
America altered the terms of his contract, The Wall Street Journal
reported. He will not be affected by a provision in the government's
bank rescue plan that curbs executive compensation, sources told the paper.



Merrill accepted a takeover offer from Bank of America last month. The
banks originally aimed to complete the takeover in the 2008 first
quarter, but they are now targeting the end of this year.



Merrill Chief Executive John Thain said on Monday that the bank needs to cut thousands of jobs because he expects a global recession next year.



Separately, CNBC reported on Tuesday that Merrill has cut about 500
sales and trading jobs across its fixed-income and equity divisions
ahead of the takeover.

Oct 21, 2008 4:08 pm

donttell, the bottom line issue today is whether you could take enough clients with you to maintain your current income.  If not, you need to stay short-term.  Long-term, looks like you either need an out-plan or need to re-negotiate your split.

Oct 21, 2008 4:21 pm
donttell:

LOS 6 on a 2 broker team producing about 1.5MM...My split is approximately 350K


All indications are that my partner will be entitled to a retention bonus and I won't.  He has also told me that he won't be sharing any part of the retention package with me.  As a matter of principle do I consider leaving Merrill or breaking of the partnership?
 
J.C., is this you, you rat bastard?  You're going behind my back?  I took care of you from the beginning.
Oct 21, 2008 5:59 pm
snaggletooth:
donttell:

LOS 6 on a 2 broker team producing about 1.5MM...My split is approximately 350K


All indications are that my partner will be entitled to a retention bonus and I won't.  He has also told me that he won't be sharing any part of the retention package with me.  As a matter of principle do I consider leaving Merrill or breaking of the partnership?
 
J.C., is this you, you rat bastard?  You're going behind my back?  I took care of you from the beginning.
 
 
Geez, I hope this guy didn't run away.  I was only kidding.