NEW YORK -- Bank of America's Merrill Lynch has launched a more aggressive recruiting campaign for top-tier brokers, including a bonus paid for transferring client assets after six months at the firm, two sources familiar with the new plan said Tuesday.

Merrill Lynch last week told managers that it was offering brokers from UBS, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Wells Fargo and other firms an upfront cash payment equal to 150 percent of the fees and commissions they generated during the prior 12 months. The offer is limited to advisers whose performance put them in the top 40 percent of their peers, the two sources said.

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