November 15, 2008 / 3:49 AM / 10 years ago

Bulk of top Merrill brokers to join BoA

NEW YORK, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Merrill Lynch & Co MER.N said on Friday that the majority of its best-performing financial advisors will join Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) when that bank buys Merrill at the end of the year.

More than 6,200 advisors accepted a retention package offered by Bank of America that was targeted at the top-producing brokers, a spokeswoman for Merrill said.

Of the brokers bringing in $1.75 million and more in fees and commissions, 99.3 percent accepted a package that gives them a loan up-front equivalent to those fees and commissions and which Bank of America will pay down over a seven-year period.

In all, about 6,600 advisors who brought in more than $500,000 for Merrill were eligible for a retention package.

Merrill expects most of its remaining 10,000 brokers who were not offered bonuses will also join Bank of America, the spokeswoman said.

Bank of America has said it will complete its purchase of Merrill by the end of the year. Shareholders of both companies are scheduled to vote on the merger on Dec. 5. (Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Jan Dahinten)

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