Merrill Lynch Advisers to Focus on $250k Clients

Merrill Lynch advisers will no longer get paid on new accounts that total less than $250,000, according to published reports.

Merrill Lynch, a unit of Bank of America, released details of the 2012 plan to its advisers earlier this month in an internal memo. The wirehouse is also cutting the rate at which its lowest revenue-producing advisers get paid and rewarding advisers who meet other goals the company has been encouraging, such as creating adviser teams and bringing in more fee-based assets, the reports note.

The current policy is that Merrill advisers don’t get paid on accounts of less than $100,000. That threshold will rise to $250,000 for any new clients, unless at least 80% of the adviser’s book of business qualifies as “affluent.” Advisers whose book of business qualifies as affluent will get paid 20% on new accounts under $250,000, which is about 15% to 30% less than other accounts, according to the news reports.   

The memo comes at the end of a year with several significant changes for advisers at Merrill Lynch; most noticeably, the departure of Sallie Krawcheck in September (see “BofA Advisers Get New Boss in Management Shakeup”).