Merrill Lynch commits to remaining in Broker Protocol. Advisorbox happily eats crow.
Andy Sieg told his management team, “We continuously evaluate the competitive landscape, but we are not making plans to leave the Protocol.”
A spokesperson shared that Mr. Sieg said:
“While other firms are focused on leaving the Broker Protocol as a way of retaining advisors and clients, we’re staying focused on making sure that our advisors have everything they need to serve their clients and grow their businesses.”
“We’re asking our advisors, in turn, to concentrate on two things: first, to help existing clients achieve their financial goals, and second, to acquire new client relationships.”
Our readers know that one of the key services we provide is helping wirehouse advisors breakaway to independence or breakout to other traditional options. We do have a financial motivation for wirehouses to remain in Protocol. But, you don’t need to be paid to deeply believe in the benefits of Protocol to advisors and their clients.
Advisorbox doesn’t recruit for wirehouses, but we give kudos to Mr. Sieg and Merrill Lynch for making a stand to stay in Protocol.
Carnac missed the UBS Prexit by a day but evidently was completely off on the expectation of Merrill exiting in December. Maybe Merrill was heading this direction and changed their mind, but it doesn’t matter. We are happy that Merrill Lynch did the right thing by their advisors in this regard.
Liberty Loyalty vs. Litigation Loyalty
Protocol represents the recognition of the reality of the advisor client relationship. It enables advisor liberty of choice to move to a different firm by following Protocol in good faith. The onus is on the wirehouse to provide a value proposition to their advisors so they want to stay.
Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo are trying to actually earn the goodwill and loyalty of their advisors. In the present wirehouse reality, Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo are siding with advisor liberty through Protocol commitment.
Morgan Stanley and UBS have chosen the alternative “litigation loyalty” strategy. Morgan Stanley and UBS stand on the other side of a very stark line opposite Merrill, Wells, and 1700 other Protocol firms.
The new Non-Protocol wirehouses returns to the pre-protocol past while most of the industry moves towards the future.
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