Some three months after it lowered some performance measures affecting compensation for its Thundering Herd, Merrill Lynch said Monday it would further ease sales targets due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The changes should lower the number of Merrill advisors likely to see their pay trimmed by about 1,000, according to a Wall Street Journal report that cited a senior Merrill executive.
As of March 31, the advisor headcount was 17,646, up 111 from a year ago and 188 from the prior quarter. Average 12-month fees and commissions per advisor were $1.14 million.
“We recognize that some practices have been impacted,” said Andy Sieg, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, in a note to advisors. “In response, we’re implementing modifications to limit your downside while preserving the upside.”
For instance, advisors need to add one new household credit by June 30 to prevent their pay from being trimmed by 1%; earlier in the year, this figure was two.
Over the full year, this target now stands at three credits vs. four earlier in 2020.