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imageReuters reported last week that Merrill Lynch is upping their ante for recruitment of top brokers whose performance put them in the top 40 percent of their peers.

An upfront cash payment of 150 percent of the fees and commissions they earned during the prior 12 months is being offered. (Up from 140 percent previously.) In addition, Merrill will also pay another 25 percent bonus after six months if the broker can transfer 65 percent of the assets they oversaw at their former employer.

Doesn’t stop there either. These financial advisors can also receive 50 percent bonus-half cash, half stock- after the first year of the deal if they bring over 75 percent of managed assets. Taken together, that’s two times their trailing –year revenue in cash after just a year.

As financial advisor recruiters, we’ve seen the competition for top advisors heating up the past several months. UBS has picked up several veteran Merrill brokers and was offering 210 percent deals.