Announcement

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Omar's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-19

For those of you who went Indy, what kind of "announcement" did you send to your clients?  I've talked with my new B/D and they said to keep it simple, basically just send a postcard style mailing announcing my new B/D affiliation with my contact information.
 
Do you guys agree?  Obviously I will be following up with a phone call but I'm trying to avoid anything that looks like a solicitation. 
 
Any style or particular ideas that worked well for any of you?

milt201's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-22

Definitely keep it simple. Also, near the bottom of the page, slightly smaller add "This is not for solicitation purposes" or something to that effect.

Sportsfreakbob's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-24

When you follow up with a phone call, i have a funny feeling that might be considered a solicitation.

Omar's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-19

SFB,
 
Yeah, but it's not in writing....

indexwiz's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-27

Hi Omar! I think SFB might be right...You may want to check out your current employment agreement, I know of a case where an advisor left one firm went to another contacted their clients and whammo! the old firm slapped the new firm with a lawsuit for soliciting clients. Cost the new firm $100K.

N.D.'s picture
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Joined: 2009-07-13

I would think a personal visit over a phone call may produce better results for your top-shelf clients. That is if they don't already know...
 
I also heard about an FA (before leaving) setting up a "seminar" (kinda off the record a little) two weeks after their planned departure date. That way you can get everyone together one last (first) time. Not sure if it worked or if it was even true though.  
 
Good luck and congrats Omar.

B24's picture
B24
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Joined: 2008-07-08

Set up a seminar, send invites to 1000 people, and somehow make sure your clients end up on that list.

Moraen's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-22

I didn't call after I sent out my announcement. As soon as they call you and say, "What the hell?!", then you are free to call them.

milt201's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-22

Nothing wrong with sending an announcement with general info saying you are now with XYZ firm and contact info, etc. The key is to follow up with a phone call and give the client the 3 options:
1. Stay
2. Move with you
3. Go elsewhere

If you give the options, ultimately it is the client's choice!

KensLoveChild's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-11

Omar,I would start the lip service right now.  Talk with your best clients and the ones you think are dedicated to you not the bank.  Let them know about how you are disappointed by the way the bank screwed up the acqusition of  ML or whatever and then mention that you may need to contemplate other options because you're tired of having to apologize about your company every other day.  Anyway, when the client  makes the comment "Omar, If you ever decide to leave, I'm going with you"  you reply by saying "Client, you'll be the first one I call".  Repeat for the clients you really want.  The day you resign, is the day you call these people. Then send a letter to the other 250 accounts after you leave.  They won't come with you because they are bank-brainwashed or you really don't want them in your book anyway. Good luck.

Omar's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-19

KLC,
 
Great name by the way.  Yeah, it's funny my clients can sense the move.  I haven't said a thing but they are already saying things like "If you ever leave...we're with you".  "We want you to know that you're our guy".  I consider that good feedback. 
 
I'm pretty honest with my book and I have a good idea of who is coming and who isn't...few surprises aside.
 
 
 
 

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

Omar, you need to send what is called a tombstone letter.  It simply announces that you have left and gives your new contact information.  While my old firm attempted to call that solicitation when another ex used it, they didn't get anywhere with that claim.  Most judges are used to the simple tombstone and do not see it as solicitation...that's my impression at least.  Listen to what your new firm and/or your attorney is advisiong here and you should be fine.  The fact that you are already getting the kind of unsolicited feedback that you are from your clients tells me that the time is ripe for a move.  If you decide to contact clients, proceed with caution.  I understand what you are saying about that not being in writing, but leaving a message is just like putting it in writing IMO.  Also, the wrong client who is bent out of shape with you can always swear in an affidavit that you called them asking for business after you left.
 
Timing is everything.  Get your letters ready at home in the evenings prior to leaving, date them the day you leave and if you're real bold, mail them the day before you leave...assuming you're leaving in the morning before the mail arrives!
 
Good luck.

Omar's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-19

Thanks to everyone for the feedback. 
 
Indyone, yep my annoucement is tombstone style that just states my new B/D and contact information.  That's it, no details about the new B/D or why I left.
 
Also, I do plan to make calls, but only to my best clients that I feel are with me.  I will leave no voicemails or send any emails.  I know it's a touchy subject contacting your clients when you leave, but I feel your best clients should get called and they will appreciate it.
 
Now that I'm getting close, let the sleepless nights and anxiety kick in 100%.  Oh man, the stuff us Advisors going Indy have to deal with!
 
 

Sportsfreakbob's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-24

Omar,
I left a wire 2 months ago  I sent out the wedding style announcement,
but two hours after i resigned i was seeing clients and getting
paperwork done. Dont know what wire you are with, but most of them have
enough problems without spending time going after FA's leaving, unless
there are extenuating circumstances. They never bothered me.

I spoke to an attorney about joining the protocol (my own corp), but he
said it would be a waste of money, the wires have lost a number of
court cases recently where it was ruled that just because a firm is not
protocol doesnt mean they can work by diff rules than the protocol
firms. The spirit of the protocol is to protect the client and that
should hold no matter what.
Dont consider this legal advice, i am far from an expert. But talk to a
good attorney, i was scared sh*tless, but it turned out to be much less
of a big deal than i thought. Just be careful who you talk to, what you
print, etc.

Omar's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-19

SFB,
 
Thanks for the input.  Yeah, I'm a relatively small fish that is going to leave quietly without stirring up too much.  From what I've seen with other Advisors that have left recently, it shouldn't be much of a problem. 
 
My firm (think big bank) has enough problems to deal with. They've made it a point that they are not interested in anyone doing less than 350K a year in production.
 
That being said, I'm leaving quietly and putting very little in writing.

ETF_Advisor's picture
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Joined: 2009-06-07

Omar, what Indy firm are you going with?

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