Despite indications that it would join The Broker Protocol last year when it acquired Merrill Lynch, BofA has yet do so. The Protocol, which has been frequently discussed in this blog, allows departing brokers/advisors leaving a firm to avoid claims for breach of non-compete or non-solicit agreements.
A Merrill Lynch spokesman has indicated that Merrill is a member of the Protocol and anticipates Bank of America Investment Services will join the Protocol in the future, but there is no date that is certain.
There are approximately 300 members of the Protocol. As long as Bank of America does not participate it retains the right to sue departing brokers or financial advisors for violation of non-compete or non-solicitation agreements.