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Jul 10, 2006 11:05 am

I'm looking at ML for a position and they mentioned that during the training period and the 1st 24 months, the salary is a draw.

To me that would imply that if you don't bring in enough revenue over that time, you could owe the company money if you leave.

I would think that if you left voluntarily they would come after you for the draw and maybe more (for training cost). I believe that was covered in this forum already. However, what if you are simply not making it and they fire you, are they still going to come after what you owe them? I'm not some young pup with no money, so they would have something to go after.

If anyone is familar with the agreements ML has, please respond. If it's just speculation, please note that.


Jul 10, 2006 4:46 pm

What you’re describing is a Recoverable Draw, which is not the case at Merrill Lynch.  My understanding is that ML uses a Guaranteed Minimum or Forgivable Draw structure.

Under this structure, you are only paid commissions in months where your commission income would exceed your salary.  And you are only paid the amount that exceeds your salary.

If you under-perform one month, you don’t owe the difference back to the company.  Likewise, you don’t get any commission that month, either.

Of course, you should confirm this with the BM or HR.  But I have never seen a recoverable draw at ML in my years of recruiting POAs for them.

I should also note that the salary does not decline during the training period, unlike other firms.  When evaluating the salary at different firms, you need to consider the amount, duration and erosion of the salary along with the upside of commission, bonuses and long-term incentives.

The issue of paying back training costs is a different matter, which is addressed more thoroughly in other threads on this board.  Every firm seems to have this kind of payback clause in their training program.  This is rarely enforced unless you leave under hostile circumstances, such as if you try to steal clients when you leave. 

When the time comes to change firms, most competitors will indemnify you against these kinds of claims.  This applies no matter which firm you go with.

But of course, I’m just speaking generally.  I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV.  Your mileage may vary.  Free advice is worth what you pay for it.  Etc.  Etc.