Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Financial Adviser News

Bloomberg reports that Sallie Krawcheck, the head of Bank of America's wealth management unit, is said to have told staff that the 'garden leave' policy now in place at the bank's US Trust business does not apply to Merrill's 15,500 financial advisers.

The new US Trust 'gardening leave' policy effectively bans advisers from soliciting clients for up to 8 months after their departure for a rival firm, and means that staff will lose certain benefits and perks during the initial 2 months that they are kept out of the market altogether.

Ms Krawcheck is said to have authored a memo to Merrill Lynch staff, which said: 'Contrary to press and recruiter speculation, there are no changes coming from Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors on any type of garden leave'.

In the meantime, Dow Jones Newswires reports that, according to its sources, Morgan Stanley is set to lay-off between 200 - 300 financial brokers in its Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture. The cull is said to be aimed at trainee and low-producing staff.

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