Bank of America has seen six consecutive quarters of growth in its workforce of financial advisors which now number about 15,500.
As a counter to the rumor that more Merrill brokers will be leaving due to competing firms offering them large incentives and the former BofA retention packages coming to an end, a spokeswoman for BofA states that the average length with clients is 13 years and client attrition rates are in the low single digits.
Noteworthy is that Merrill’s training program is known as one of the strongest in the industry. Loyalty to the Merrill brand along with the retention packages and the hassle of making a switch to a new firm have kept most brokers in their seats.
There is another aspect affecting the top producers who also received up-front retention “loans” equivalent to 75% of their fees and commissions which are forgivable after seven years and the Merrill brokers still have four years left before the loans are forgiven.
Given all this, it will be interesting to watch just how much movement actually occurs in the coming months. It is a given financial recruiters for their rivals will continue to pursue the Merrill advisor.