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It’s a given that turnover is a constant in the wirehouse world and every wirehouse has gone thru their periods of upheaval, bad press, and an exodus of brokers.

Speculation about Merrill’s inability to recruit big brokers after losing 50-80 top producers in the past several months has many recruiters on the street buzzing as to what the rationale is behind Merrill’s rolling out its large recruiting bonus last month, (which by the way is more generous than any other firms) and wondering if retention bonuses are next in the offering, which is doubtful too.

Merrill’s problem began with their change in management structure followed by the proposal for the $5 debit card fee which was met with outrage and then quickly nullified. Granted, that hurt them and killed some deals in the making.

Since the first of the year, Merrill has hired 55 producers as of Feb 15, and with their new recruiting offer, we’ll likely see more.

Their management changes are stabilizing and press coverage improving and there are some high profile advisors looking to leave other firms.

I’m banking on Merrill picking some of these up in the near future.