During the height of the Wall Street meltdown, Bank of America negotiated a deal to acquire Merrill Lynch. This was but one of many buyouts, bailouts and washouts that occurred during that period. The harsh consequences of this particular buyout on former Merrill Lynch employees is still being felt today.
Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors participated in several deferred compensation plans, including plans with names like FACAAP, Growth Award, WealthBuilder, and other Long Term Compensation Incentive Programs. The Financial Advisors worked hard to accumulate benefits with the expectation that Merrill Lynch/Bank of America would honor its obligations under the plans. Unfortunately, this did not happen, and as a result, thousands of former Merrill Lynch Advisors are owed millions of dollars in unpaid compensation.
Merrill Lynch/Bank of America was recently hit with several adverse rulings, and, in some of the most egregious cases, was ordered to pay combined amounts in unpaid compensation, fines, and punitive damage awards up to $10 million! In one of the latest cases decided against Merrill Lynch/Bank of America, a FINRA arbitration panel had this to say:
Merrill Lynch directly and indirectly . . . intentionally, willfully and deliberately engaged in a systematic and systemic fraudulent scheme to deprive [its Financial Advisors] of their rights and benefits under its Deferred Compensation Programs (FACAAP, Growth Award and Wealthbuilder) as well as other benefits to avoid liability after the change in control in September, 2008.
Our firm has been handling claims on behalf of former Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors. These former Advisors often left because of the changes that occurred. In some cases they were pressured or pushed out by the incoming management. In any case, they were wrongfully deprived of deferred compensation to which they were and may still be entitled. In these tough economic times, it is shameful that any hard working person must fight for what is rightfully due to them. Our firm is ready to help those former Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors win that fight. We are available to investigate and evaluate potential claims. If you need additional information on this subject, contact Chad Stewart at 800-898-2034 or by email at Chad.Stewart@beasleyallen.com.
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