Merrill Lynch to Stay in the Broker Protocol

Posted on December 8th, 2017 at 9:49 AM
Merrill Lynch to Stay in the Broker Protocol

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

In a surprise move, Merrill Lynch has announced its decision to stay in the Broker Protocol. Merrill Lynch’s announcement comes at a time when both Morgan Stanley and UBS have withdrawn from the Broker Protocol. Merrill Lynch’s decision to stay is significant because it puts the Protocol on life support for at least the time being.

Over a decade ago, many firms, including Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS, agreed to follow the Protocol in an attempt to reduce litigation costs originated by efforts to prevent brokers from soliciting and doing business with their former customers. The Protocol allows brokers to take with them only customer names, addresses, phone numbers, emails and account titles when they transition to other firms.

However, in recent years, the Protocol has not served a useful purpose for wirehouses like Merrill Lynch because more than 1,600 smaller and independent broker-dealers and registered investment advisory firms have become signatories, thereby allowing them to recruit from the bigger firms without fear of litigation.

The attorneys at Eccleston Law assist financial advisors in their employment transitions, negotiate their transition agreements (including employment agreements and forgivable loans), and defend reps in arbitration and litigation whether or not they are in the Protocol.

The attorneys of Eccleston Law LLC represent investors and advisors nationwide in securities and employment matters. The securities lawyers at Eccleston Law also practice a variety of other areas of practice for financial advisors including Broker Litigation & ArbitrationStrategic Consulting ServicesRegulatory  MattersTransition Contract Review, and much more. Our attorneys draw on a combined experience of nearly 65 years in delivering the highest quality legal services. If you are in need of legal services, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation today.

Related Attorneys: James J. Eccleston

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As a financial advisor with over 20 years of experience, I feel fortunate to call Jim my attorney and friend. He is a fantastic lawyer and trusted advisor. He is skilled in the matters necessary to do the job well. He uses his thoughtful approach and calm demeanor to achieve a positive outcome for the client. If you want to feel confident that nothing will be missed and that you will be represented in a highly professional manner, call Jim Eccleston.

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