Facing pressure from rivals and regulators, Merrill Lynch & Co.’s pension-consulting arm is changing the way it handles some of its fees. As part of the change, Merrill has also been refunding money to some of its pension-fund clients. Those refunds have ranged from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars and totaled about $2 million, according to people with knowledge of the payments. At issue: In some cases, Merrill both provides advice to pension funds about what money managers the fund should use and collects brokerage fees from those money managers, raising the prospect of a conflict of interest.

Link to Wall Street Journal

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