No retention bonus for Wachovia reps

Feb 20, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

By Dan Jamieson

Wachovia Securities brokers will be getting no retention bonuses from Wells Fargo & Co.

In a conference call today with the troops, Wachovia Securities chief executive Danny Ludeman said the deal was off.

In addition, he announced that Wachovia Securities LLC of St. Louis will be renamed Wells Fargo Advisors, beginning in May.

“With the environment we're in, with all the attention we're under — all the firms are under — and with clients down 20%, 30% and 40 % ... a [retention] bonus didn't seem to be the appropriate approach,” said Wachovia Securities spokesman Tony Mattera.

Retention bonuses historically have been used to compensate brokers for the disruption caused by a merger. “But in this case, I don't expect the merger to change things much at all,” Mr. Mattera said.

One Wachovia rep, who asked not to be identified, said he was disappointed.

Mr. Ludeman “said on multiple calls that there will be 'meaningful retention,'” the broker said.

It is not clear how many of Wachovia's nearly 16,000 brokers may have missed out. That's because in other retention deals, lower producers did not receive packages.

“There's no doubt some guys will be leaving” and taking offers from other firms," the Wachovia broker added.

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