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Jul 2, 2012

Merrill banks on training to replenish broker herd

NEW YORK, July 2 (Reuters) – Merrill Lynch is expanding
efforts to hire unproven talent in the next six months, even as
competitors pay eye-popping bonuses to poach star advisers.

Merrill’s bet is that grooming its own brokers will deliver
more bang for the buck and ultimately produce advisers who can
eventually match and beat its rival’s experienced advisers.

Jun 22, 2012

U.S. money funds trimmed Europe exposure-report

June 22 (Reuters) – Mutual fund investors and those who
manage money market funds both showed last month that their
confidence in euro zone banks has faded, according to two
reports issued Friday.

U.S. money market funds reduced their exposure to euro zone
banks as Europe’s financial crisis worsened last month, Fitch
Ratings analysts said in a monthly research note. A separate
report from Cerulli Associates, meanwhile, found that concerns
about euro zone banks fueled outflows from bank-sold mutual
funds into bank deposit accounts.

Jun 22, 2012

Exclusive: Merrill replaces law firm in broker pay cases

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Merrill Lynch has replaced the law firm leading its battles against deferred-pay claims from more than a thousand former brokers.

The change could mark a fresh start for Merrill after a disclosure by one of the previous lawyers likely damaged one of the brokerage’s cases as it faces a growing pile of claims and more than $1 billion in estimated potential damages from pending cases and hundreds more that could be filed.

Jun 22, 2012

Merrill replaces law firm in broker pay cases

NEW YORK, June 22 (Reuters) – Merrill Lynch has replaced the
law firm leading its battles against deferred-pay claims from
more than a thousand former brokers.

The change could mark a fresh start for Merrill after a
disclosure by one of the previous lawyers likely damaged one of
the brokerage’s cases as it faces a growing pile of claims and
more than $1 billion in estimated potential damages from pending
cases and hundreds more that could be filed.[ID:nL1E8GPCAU]

Jun 20, 2012

Edward Jones vision of 20,000 brokers a tall order

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Edward Jones, financial advisers to middle class America, plans to hire about 8,000 brokers and nearly double its client assets over the next eight years, an expansion that will test its ability to grow profitably with mostly home-grown talent.

By the end of 2020, the employee-owned partnership hopes to employ 20,000 advisers overseeing $1 trillion in client assets, up from less than 12,000 advisers and $634 billion in assets at the end of March. That would create an adviser force larger than that of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney or Merrill Lynch.

Jun 19, 2012

Bessemer names new management as Hilton to retire

NEW YORK, June 19 (Reuters) – Bessemer Trust, one of the
largest wealth managers to the super-rich, is passing the torch
to a new generation of management as long-time Chief Executive
and President John Hilton prepares to retire at the end of this
year.

Hilton is turning 65, which is the closely held company’s
mandatory retirement age for management, though he is expected
to continue working for Bessemer in another role. Hilton joined
New York-based Bessemer 19 years ago and has been the wealth and
estate planning firm’s CEO for 10 years.

Jun 19, 2012

Asia, not North America, now has most millionaires

June 19 (Reuters) – Weakening economies that roiled markets
last year also took their toll on the world’s rich, while Asia
for the first time had more millionaires than North America,
according to a study released on Tuesday.

A new report said the global personal wealth of people with
$1 million and more to invest fell in 2011 for the second time
in four years, reflecting the euro zone crisis and economic
sluggishness in developed markets. But several emerging markets
also felt pain, as the number of millionaires in India and Hong
Kong fell by almost one-fifth.

Jun 8, 2012

Stocks have fans on Wall St despite Europe’s woes

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Despite heading into what looks to be a third straight summer of volatile markets, big U.S. brokerages and financial advisers say investors should not abandon stocks, though many advise caution on buying more.

Weak U.S. economic data and the worsening European debt crisis have spurred selling that by the end of last week had erased the Dow’s gains for 2012. Yet stocks have bounced back this week, a big relief for Wall Street seers who have advised their clients to hold steady.

Jun 7, 2012

Merrill unrelenting in battle with former brokers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Merrill Lynch’s approach to fighting more than 1,000 former brokers who claim the firm denied them more than $1 billion in deferred compensation shows no signs of softening.

The second-largest U.S. brokerage was ordered in April to pay $10.2 million to two former brokers who an arbitration panel said were owed compensation Merrill had refused to pay. Merrill was also fined more than $100,000 during the case for what arbitrators deemed abusive and fraudulent conduct.

Jun 5, 2012

Brokerage LPL Financial promotes Arnold to CFO

NEW YORK, June 5 (Reuters) – LPL Financial, the largest U.S.
independent brokerage, on Tuesday said Dan Arnold, its head of
strategy, would take over as chief financial officer effective
June 15.

Arnold, 47, will succeed Robert Moore, whom LPL on May 1
named as its president and chief operating officer. Moore, who
is 50, will transfer his CFO responsibilities to Arnold over
three months. Arnold will be based in San Diego.