Stifel Financial’s potential offer to buy Morgan Keegan would have had a substantially larger retention payment pool for the firm’s employees, a source close to the situation said on Thursday.

“Part of [Stifel’s] offer for Morgan Keegan included a retention pool between $350 [million] and $400 million, and so the estimate is that that’s double what anyone else had on the table,” the source said. “This is a human capital business, so retention is a huge issue. The Stifel offer, with its retention pool, focused on the brokers and advisors more than any other stakeholder group.”

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