Merrill PMD Salary (Draw)

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Jan 10, 2012 11:44 pm

Have been talking to a recruiter about moving to ML and starting the PMD program from another wire (basically dropping out of their traning program and starting over at ML with a small book to bring). What's a fair expectation of base salary (forgiveable draw) for someone in major metro area with approx $5MM in AUM and a year in production?

Jan 19, 2012 9:49 am

I've seen the pay as low as $45k and on average around $60k. But if you are bringing over AUM, I would expect you to t get $80k or more.

Jan 20, 2012 8:20 pm

I would be looking for an up front check, to be honest.  Salary is not going to change much.  50K and above means you have higher hurdles.  Make sure you ask about this.  

Getting 60 would be pointless.  If you can get 72500 then it might be worth the higher hurdles - if not, take 49K, get a check for trailing 12 x 1 up front and gogogogo.

You will be in a great position to hit the hurdles and bonuses starting at LOS 0 with 5 milly back.  The bonuses are where the money is.   Up to grid payout of something like 130K (take home) you make more money with salary at 50K, bonuses and deferred comp bonuses.  I did the math at one point, but you should ask them for the whole deal and do it yourself.  

An example would be:

If you did 300K in production year 1:

1) Grid payout at 40% would be 120K take home.

2) PMD pay would be 50K + 20% PC bonus (60K) + 15% deferred comp bonus (45K) for a total of 110K take home and 45K deferred, or 155K.  

Your effective payout with the deffered comp is over 50% in that situation, if you noticed.  

Jan 23, 2012 11:31 am

FADavo, you forgot about the third bonus opportunity - monthly incentive comp.  Take total PC's for the month at 47% - 1/3 of last quarterly bonus - monthly salary.  In your scenario of 300K in production (assuming production comes from 250K+ households) this can be significant income. 

Jan 25, 2012 9:49 am


Is it common for a rookie to get an upfront check if they are still in a training program?  I calculated it out, and it's basically a wash if I stay or leave, since I'm starting to produce a decent level (not enough to exceed Merrill's monthly draw after salary and bonus, but enough to be worthwhile)-- basically instead of getting paid commissions and bonsues (and my diminishing salary) here, I'd be making salary and bonuses at ML. Not to mention having to transfer my book... which is not worth it for a lateral move. That is, unless there is an upront signing bonus similar to what they give to veteran advisors.  Getting even 1x T-12 would be lucrative, but I've just never heard of it -- do you have any specific examples of this?  Thanks so much.


Jan 28, 2012 10:25 am

I think you can get something.  Even the fact that you are capable of prospecting is going to be worth some money to them.

You want to know how you find out?  ASK.  I don't mean that in a bad way, I just mean that telling them you are looking for a little something up front is either going to get you an "okay" or a "no, but we can do x,y,z instead".  

Mar 3, 2012 12:10 pm

BACFA, if someone were to get terminated from the PMD Program because of a failed Series 7 or 66 attempt (passed a few weeks later); what is the process of getting rehired back into the program?    

Mar 6, 2012 7:28 am

45dj I guess you ask your manager. I've never heard of anyone being "rehired", but I have heard of people being given a second chance.. 

Apr 5, 2012 10:48 pm

For the first time ever, they just rehired someone in my office who failed the 66.  Have never seen anything like this before, but evidently it can happen.

Apr 9, 2012 10:50 am

It's a manager decision. But I believe the expectation is that the person go out and get the 66 on their own. 

Apr 17, 2012 1:22 pm

FA Davo,

Am I correct when I say that the draw and 10, 15, 20% bonuses are subtracted from your monthly commission payout?  Ie: If I am making $4,000 a month in salary (draw), then at a 47% payout, I will not receive any incentive compensation until I exceed approx $8,510 in Gross PC's?  What about the 20% bonus? Is that awarded on top of PC's or does that also factor in?