Offer to interview at ML...

23 replies [Last post]
DTA's picture
DTA
Offline
Joined: 2010-10-12

To add to my work drama, I recently received an email from ML inviting me to interview with them. I understand all the pitfalls of working for a major wire, but I was thinking that if I at least went through the interview process, I could use their offer as a back up. I like my office and I like being independent, but if something doesn't start happening, I will be under water soon. When my "draw" ends in September, I think I will be in a pickle. I would like to go work for ML for a few years and have a salary while building a book and them come back to my indy with hopefully 70% of the book I built at ML. I am not trying to bail on my firm, I just know that if I am not paying the bills while building a book, then what's the point. I am pretty certain that my boss would understand my situation and would probably let me come back when I was ready.Any thoughts? Lay them on me...

randomguy123's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-06-13

Have you talked to your boss about your issues?

DTA's picture
DTA
Offline
Joined: 2010-10-12

I don't see the reason to speak with my boss right now. I figure why ruffle feathers now when nothing could come of this interview with ML. As much as I understand how going Indy is the way to go, a part of me is starting to think that you should pay your dues at a wire first. The Indy model is awesome, but I'm starting to think that it is more for an established FA who can bring a good percentage of their book with them. With that book, they can generate referrals and continue to build their book regardless of which firm they are with. Someone new to the industry will have a hard time building a book in a small Indy firm like myself. I am not making excuses. I hit the phones hard everyday and I am still full of enthusiasm. The bottom line is that I will run out of money and then I am screwed. If I go to a wire for a few years, pay my dues and them come back to the Indy side, I might have a fighting chance. 

DTA's picture
DTA
Offline
Joined: 2010-10-12

I went to ML's career night and it was what I expected. I received an email from the Regional manager that I do not have to do any testing and that his assistant will get with me to schedule my first interview. I figure i will just see what happens.

Stig's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-12-17

Have you talked to your boss about possibly letting you work his C clients? If he is retiring in 4 years and considering you taking over it makes sense that he would start to transition you into working his book. Let his clients (your future clients) get to know you.ML is a different world than Indy, you will miss your current office.

DTA's picture
DTA
Offline
Joined: 2010-10-12

You make an excellent point. I need to figure out when is a good time to have this conversation. I am just starting the interview process with ML and obviously do not have an offer from them. I definitely know I would miss my office, but even with all of my prospecting efforts, it looks like I will  be underwater by September.

randomguy123's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-06-13

Don't tell a wire that you want to build a book and then bail out to go indy in a few years. What makes you think prospecting at a wire will be any different than at your current indy shop?Not trying to be a dick, these are just questions you need to have answered yourself.

DTA's picture
DTA
Offline
Joined: 2010-10-12

My prospecting is good. My appointments are going well until I explain how we have a separate B/D and separate Clearing house. It is usually the same grimace and then they start to try a find a way to get out of my office. I definitely would not tell them I want to go indy in a few years. I also have some institutional business that I have a good shot at acquiring, but I am thinking they might balk at the idea of working with an Indy when it comes to multiple 7 and 8 figures. Especially since I am having a hard time closing individual business.I also spoke with my secretary and she has over 15 years of experience working in major wires and agree's with my concerns. She said that everyone else here has large established books and do not understand why I am having difficulty. She gave me some good advice and I will talk with my boss after the holiday weekend. I will talk to him about whether or not I am going to be the one he transitions his book to or not. If I am, then the time is now to get the ball rolling since he wants to retire inside of 3 years.There is also some other issues like possibly switching to a different B/D and some internal issues such as appointing a new office manager since I have only seen ours 3 times in the last 5 months. 

DTA's picture
DTA
Offline
Joined: 2010-10-12

Secondly, does anyone have experience in approaching this conversation with my boss?

randomguy123's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-06-13

Carefully, ha. No idea man, there are better qualified people here that can answer the question about how to start the conversation.

Stig's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-12-17

You may get your boss to sit in with you on your next appointment. Introduce him to your would be client as owner of the firm. When or if the client gives question to the seperate clearing and brokerage companies, let the boss show you how he handles the objection. Do this several times to increase the chance that your prospects will raise the question.

newguy44's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-08-29

Wherever you are you have to make the greatest place in the world. Why would anyone want to be anywhere else? If you are going into meetings with the mindset you will not be able to overcome these objections, you never will. If you don't have yourself convinced you work with a great firm and people need to do business with you, you are not going to make it.Very few clients or prospects asked who my new firm cleared with. Most, even those who supposedly were sophisticated HNW families, had very little clue how that process worked. And they really didn't care. People want to know they have a knowledgable professional they can trust looking out for them.  In a nutshell, if asked about your clearinghouse and B/D, answer. If not, don't.Here is what you say: When Wirehouse A makes a decision, do they make have the best interests of their clients in mind, or the best interests of the shareholders? PAUSE. I think we both know who they really care about, and they will throw their clients under a bus to bring in another dime in revenue. What does the Wall Street Journal print, company earnings, or client earnings? That's right, everything is about profits with Wirehouse A. Here at ABC Capital we are in business because of our clients, and our decisions reflect that. (Pause, let it sink in). We work for you, and not some hot shot banker in New York who could give two cents about whether your kids go to college. If there are no further questions, here is a pen, and put our relationship in writing. (HAND PEN)Seriously though, your mindset has to be that wherever you are, that's the place to be. At a wire you have a big name, but the prospecting is the same. You aren't going to work at Merrill and magically have people throw money at you. At a wire you have a different sort of pressure. Both models are good and both work in different ways. At a wire you may have the security of a pittance of a salary for a few years, but that salary comes at a price. One price is when the firm decides you need to do more fee based advisory business. They give you three months to have XXX assets fee based. If not, see ya. Many wires don't pay a penny to you on accounts under $100k. Or they pay you but severely cut your payout. And we all know when you are building a book you are going to have some sub $100k clients. Not too many people throw $5mm at a rookie out of the gate. But they are willing to throw you a bone to prove yourself. There are good and bad points to both wires and being with an indy. The grass is always greener. Talk to your boss. Ask him about sitting in on a couple of meetings. Ask him if he has any clients he would like you to work.Remember, all great successes come with tremendous struggle, and without struggle there are no great successes. Best of luck to you my friend.

newregrep's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-03-22

There are a few things you should consider. 1.  Find out everything about the complex.  How is the support? Any training? Any subscriptions to lead vendors?2. Find out everything about your manager.  How is he? Does he support in your success? or are you just a number?3. Find out hurdles, it varies by complex and your salary.  4. Find out a typical week schedule, does the complex have many meetings weekly? or do they let you run your business?  it's critical.5. Did I say support? it's critical. 

DTA's picture
DTA
Offline
Joined: 2010-10-12

newregrep-Those are great questions I will definitely have those answered. I

willywonka's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-06-07

DTA, I had the same response as newguy44; why are you bringing up the issue of your B/D and Clearing issue. That is YOUR issue not the clients. I have never in 20 years have a client ask me about who we use for clearing. When with a client I would just not bring it up. I worked at a big wirehouse for 18 of my 20 in the business. I thought because it was a big name firm that would help me grow my business. This is what I realized. Your clients do business with you, not the firm you are with. wirehouses are not all they are cracked up to be. You will have the follwing to deal with when you are at a wire. Pressure from branch mangers to put your clients in all the crap the investment bankers want to get rid, regional managers who don't give a rats ass about you, you are simply a nember to them. Bad press when the next investment product the geniuses in IB think up blows up. Surly punks right out of college working in your NY HQ, who think they deserve to be CEO of the entire company. Unscrupulous colleagues who will try to prospect your clients in the waiting room of your office(actually happened to me). Don't listen to me, I am just bitter that my old big wirehouse would have failed had it not been for the U.S. Gubmint bailing thier sorry asses out. In anycase, working at a wirehouse is not all it is cracked up to be but I understand if your cash flow is lacking why you would want to take a taste of the bitter apple!

DTA's picture
DTA
Offline
Joined: 2010-10-12

The clearing house thing came up only 2 times. My main problem is that I am going to run out of money. I understand I am in a good position within this Indy firm and its way better than a wire. Unfortunately, I am not making any cash.

22urbo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-07-06

DTA wrote:I went to ML's career night and it was what I expected. I received an email from the Regional manager that I do not have to do any testing and that his assistant will get with me to schedule my first interview. I figure i will just see what happens.Good Afternoon DTA, I'm a newb, recent college graduate with a passion for investments. Currently write my own newsletter that I circulate and have developed a business plan using David J. Mullen Million Dollar Practice as a guide. I received an email from a recruiter in California asking to attend this career night you speak of. I'm nervous as this is my first interview and for a difficult position in a difficult company. I've prepared a portfolio with a copy of my resume, business plan and a copy of my weekly newsletter. I'm thinking of bringing in a few copies to hand out at the event. I know this is just the beginning stages of interviewing but I want them to know that I'm not just looking for a job but for a career in an industry i'm passionate about. Could you give me more insight as to what goes on durring the career night event? What I should expect? any preparation tips? Do you think I'm over prepared? Please get back to me as the event is July 12 at 6pm. Thank you and I look forward to reading your response!Marco

22urbo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-07-06

DTA wrote:I went to ML's career night and it was what I expected. I received an email from the Regional manager that I do not have to do any testing and that his assistant will get with me to schedule my first interview. I figure i will just see what happens.Good Afternoon DTA, I'm a newb, recent college graduate with a passion for investments. Currently write my own newsletter that I circulate and have developed a business plan using David J. Mullen Million Dollar Practice as a guide. I received an email from a recruiter in California asking to attend this career night you speak of. I'm nervous as this is my first interview and for a difficult position in a difficult company. I've prepared a portfolio with a copy of my resume, business plan and a copy of my weekly newsletter. I'm thinking of bringing in a few copies to hand out at the event. I know this is just the beginning stages of interviewing but I want them to know that I'm not just looking for a job but for a career in an industry i'm passionate about. Could you give me more insight as to what goes on durring the career night event? What I should expect? any preparation tips? Do you think I'm over prepared? Please get back to me as the event is July 12 at 6pm. Thank you and I look forward to reading your response!Marco

DTA's picture
DTA
Offline
Joined: 2010-10-12

It's basically an informational meeting. There will be a presentation and some Q&A. You will be able to mingle a bit afterwards. Get a business card from everyone who attended that is from ML. Email them the next morning thanking them for the invite and ask them what you need to do to advance in the hiring process. 

22urbo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-07-06

thank you very much! I appreciate the prompt response. 

Nova02's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-06-28

DTA wrote:The clearing house thing came up only 2 times. My main problem is that I am going to run out of money. I understand I am in a good position within this Indy firm and its way better than a wire. Unfortunately, I am not making any cash.DTA, the separate clearing function as an Indy is a GOOD THING.  You need to PROMOTE that with prospective clients and don't be afraid to use our friend, Bernie as an example of someone who housed every function within his own firm.  The major wires are self-clearing, but they custody assets away from them as part of SEC guidelines relating to segregation of assets.  That in itself is a good thing, but most clients never realize this.  In many respects, the checks and balances and operations functions between your Indy firm/bd and a major wire are almost identical, they're just not transparent to the client.  Make them transparent!!I was with ML myself and trust me, it ain't all it's cracked up to be.  The pressure to bring in assets and production is overwhelming and your friendly branch manager who whispers sweet nothings in your ear during the honeymoon phase can easily become your worst enemy at the turn of a switch because they think you're not going to "cut it."  The new training program there is a B*tch and I woudn't wish it on my worst enemy.  The goals are absurd - literally.  Unless you're a former corporate executive with an extensive network of affluent friends, graduating from PMD is very unlikely.  The production and asset goals are severely off-kilter and while they encourage a fee-based business, you HAVE to stuff VAs and structured products down clients' throats just to meet the lavish production goals to avoid being fired.The salary is nice, but so is not having a branch manager threatening you with a pink slip every day. 

Nova02's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-06-28

ZwingDing wrote:Nova02 wrote:DTA wrote:The clearing house thing came up only 2 times. My main problem is that I am going to run out of money. I understand I am in a good position within this Indy firm and its way better than a wire. Unfortunately, I am not making any cash.DTA, the separate clearing function as an Indy is a GOOD THING.  You need to PROMOTE that with prospective clients and don't be afraid to use our friend, Bernie as an example of someone who housed every function within his own firm.  The major wires are self-clearing, but they custody assets away from them as part of SEC guidelines relating to segregation of assets.  That in itself is a good thing, but most clients never realize this.  In many respects, the checks and balances and operations functions between your Indy firm/bd and a major wire are almost identical, they're just not transparent to the client.  Make them transparent!!I was with ML myself and trust me, it ain't all it's cracked up to be.  I am with ML as a PMD and you are correct. The pressure to bring in assets and production is overwhelming and your friendly branch manager who whispers sweet nothings in your ear during the honeymoon phase can easily become your worst enemy at the turn of a switch because they think you're not going to "cut it."  Correct again. The new training program there is a B*tch and I woudn't wish it on my worst enemy.  Wait, there's a training program?The goals are absurd - literally.  Earlier this year I spoke with a 30 year ML vet from the mid-west who called the present goal/hurdle matrix an "atroticy." His tone was very emotional. We have a 30+ year ML on our office who says that they way they do it now is just plain wrong.Unless you're a former corporate executive with an extensive network of affluent friends, graduating from PMD is very unlikely.  The production and asset goals are severely off-kilter and while they encourage a fee-based business, you HAVE to stuff VAs and structured products down clients' throats just to meet the lavish production goals to avoid being fired.I've never sold a VA but this is a product that can be attractive to certain people.The salary is nice, but so is not having a branch manager threatening you with a pink slip every day.  Agree as well on many of the vets at ML feeling that way.  I encountered quite a few of the "older guys" who really were empathetic for the rookies trying to make it under these programs.  Clearly, the "training programs" are meant to steal all the trainees' friends and family's business, which is a shame.  I know that's not unique to ML, but it seems like they've made it almost obvious they want people to fail with PMD. 

ZwingDing's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-09-15

I don't think they want people to fail.

I think they prefer people to succeed but it's just a preference. I think that they are 100% OK with attrition. They have develoled a system where it is heads they win tails you lose. They win either way.

If you make it they have a new producer. If you fail they just plug the next person into "your" desk and they start gathering assets.

Look at it this way. They have a bullpen desk, chair, phone,etc. That desk has a cost that includes salary benefits,etc. All they really need is someone in that chair gathering assets. If a PMD fails they just put person "B" in that chair. And BTW you were person "B" to whoever sat in that desk before you.

ML just keeps that desk gathering assets. Heads they win tails you lose.

They win either way.

FADavo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-06-27

ZwingDing wrote:I don't think they want people to fail.

I think they prefer people to succeed but it's just a preference. I think that they are 100% OK with attrition. They have develoled a system where it is heads they win tails you lose. They win either way.

If you make it they have a new producer. If you fail they just plug the next person into "your" desk and they start gathering assets.

Look at it this way. They have a bullpen desk, chair, phone,etc. That desk has a cost that includes salary benefits,etc. All they really need is someone in that chair gathering assets. If a PMD fails they just put person "B" in that chair. And BTW you were person "B" to whoever sat in that desk before you.

ML just keeps that desk gathering assets. Heads they win tails you lose.

They win either way.  

Please or Register to post comments.

Industry Newsletters
Careers Category Sponsor Links

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×