Merrill Lynch Raises Club Hurdles Firm says production requirements dated from 1997.
As anticipated, Merrill Lynch has raised the hurdles for its production clubs. The main change appears to be an increase in the amount of production necessary to qualify for Merrill's second-lowest rung - President's Club.
As of Jan. 1, 2001, the minimum President's Club requirement for all producers is $550,000. Previously, reps with up to nine years at the firm were required to produce $425,000, and brokers with 10 or more years of service needed $500,000.
"This came as a shock to many of us," says a broker who asked not to be identified.
The new requirements were outlined in a memo sent to reps Dec. 28.
Merrill also raised the bar for more seasoned brokers who want to become members of the next-level Chairman's Club.
Until this year, any broker who generated $600,000 in production qualified for the Chairman's Club.
While that is still true, the firm has added escalating requirements based on length of service. For example, brokers with more than seven years need $700,000 in production, producers with eight years need $800,000 and brokers with more than nine years must produce at least $900,000, according to the rep. After 10 years of service, the requirement for Chairman's Club remains fixed at $900,000.
All brokers are still eligible for the Chairman's Club at $600,000, but they need to produce beyond that level, based on length of service, in order to participate in the trips and receive all the benefits, according to the rep.
"Basically, if you're producing under $1 million, you're not going on any trips," the broker says.
The firm justified the new policy in the memo by stating, "While FC productivity has increased 31% since 1997, the Club hurdles have not moved."
A Merrill spokesperson confirms the change.