Merrill Lynch has added a big sweetener to payouts for advisors on the brink of retirement by tweaking its Client Transition Program (CTP).
The wirehouse announced Wednesday an increase in its award payouts to retiring advisors for all production levels, but the top tier could see their payout jump by a whopping 75 percentage points.
“We want all of our advisors to start here, build their client base here, and retire from here,” Merrill Lynch Wealth Management president Andy Sieg said in a company memo.
The new changes will be applicable after November 1, 2021. Advisors entering the program prior to that date will enter based on the existing program.
Other enhancements to the program include a fixed payout system, with Merrill claiming it is the only firm in the industry to do so.
Another revision includes a floor on the CTP award level for “top-tiered” or “long-tenured” advisors. For such advisors, the CTP award that is calculated on a trailing 12-month basis will not fall below the floor, though it may have the potential to go up in future.
According to the memo, CTP payouts are calculated when advisors enter the program and equal an advisor’s trailing 12-month production multiplied by their CTP award percentage.
“The percentage can reset to a higher level in later years if performance improves, but it will not decrease,” Sieg said in the memo.
For inheriting advisors too, the firm has some good news. By modifying its recovery payout structure, the firm is giving the succeeding advisors a shorter recovery period.
The memo also says Merrill Lynch is offering the ability for producers making more than $5 million to partially transition their books to their teams even before completely entering the CTP.
But the new program does not necessarily mean more paperwork for advisors.
“We are not introducing any incremental documents for advisors to sign and there are no “garden leave” provisions associated with these enhancements,” said Sieg in the memo.