A three-person Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. panel recently awarded two former Merrill Lynch financial advisors over $10 million ($5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages) over deferred compensation benefits allegedly owed to the advisors.
Of course, Merrill Lynch immediately filed a petition with a federal court in Florida seeking to overturn the decision, but the decision nonetheless validates the strength of these deferred compensation claims against Merrill Lynch.
The arbitration panel, in a sharply worded decision, said a Merrill Lynch committee that determines whether to vest departing brokers in their deferred pay was nothing “but a sham committee that did nothing more than rubber-stamp denials.”
The award further stated that the committee had never approved a request for vesting, despite Merrill’s own analysis that it might have to pay “anywhere from hundreds of millions to several billion dollars in potential liability.”
Hundreds of former Merrill Lynch advisors have been reviewing litigation options regarding their deferred compensation benefits. This award is a landmark victory for these advisors and serves as evidence that arbitration panels may side with the advisors on these cases.
If you are a former Merrill Lynch financial advisor that has not already filed a claim for your deferred compensation benefits, please contact the securities attorneys of The White Law Group at 312/238-9650 for a free consultation.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities arbitration, regulation and compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.
For more information on The White Law Group, visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.