Dividends: Battle over the CMA Clones

In the beginning was the Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account (CMA). Started in 1977, the CMA is an all-purpose account that combines traditional banking services with brokerage ones and pays high money-market rates. The CMA is widely regarded as one of the most innovative consumer financial products in the past decade and now has 1 million customers. Merrill Lynch was so proud of the CMA that it patented the account and began demanding a $10 annual licensing fee for each similar account that competitors opened.

Rival financiers originally laughed at the proposal, but last week they stopped abruptly. Dean Witter Reynolds...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!