updated 5/23/2011 11:46:19 AM ET 2011-05-23T15:46:19

PALM BEACH, Fla., May 23, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Law Firm of Stein & Stein, P.A., www.steinsteinlaw.com , is currently investigating the following claims on behalf of former Merrill Lynch (BAC) financial advisors:

Prior to 2009, the FACAAP provided for awards to eligible employees in Merrill Lynch's Global Wealth Management division generally based upon their prior year's performance. Payment for an award was contingent upon continued employment for a period of time and subject to forfeiture during that period. FACAAP is no longer an active plan and no awards were granted in 2009. At December 31, 2009, there were 26 million shares awarded under FACAAP outstanding, of which 6 million shares were granted prior to 2003. The weighted-average fair value of awards granted under FACAAP during 2008 and 2007 was $45.04 and $83.30 per award, respectively.

In September of 2008, Bank of America negotiated a deal to acquire Merrill Lynch. This contract to merge apparently triggered a "change in control" clause that affected the vesting of deferred compensation held in the FACAAP, Growth Award, Wealthbuilder, and Long Term Incentive Compensation plans. Under these plans, if a broker resigns for "Good Reason," as defined in the plans, Merrill Lynch must vest all deferred compensation held in these plans and pay the balance of these accounts to its departed and/or departing brokers.

If you or anyone you know resigned from Merrill Lynch after August of 2008 to join another brokerage firm such as Raymond James, UBS, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Ameriprise, Edward Jones, or RBC and were not paid your deferred compensation, you may have a claim. If you wish to discuss your legal rights, please call me directly for a confidential and free consultation at (561) 659-8802.

The attorneys at Stein & Stein, P.A. have over 43 years of combined experience representing brokers and brokerage firms. More about the firm is available on its website at: www.steinsteinlaw.com

CONTACT: Craig Stein, Esq.
         Stein & Stein, P.A.
         205 Worth Avenue
         Suite 203
         Palm Beach, FL 33480
         Phone: 561-659-8802
         Email: cstein@steinsteinlaw.com

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