Merrill Lynch Interview. Need help with business plan

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dylan07079's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-27

Hello, any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.I took the FIAT a few days ago and just received a call that I passed that and now I need to come in for an interview with the Director. I need to bring a business plan on how I will bring in 30 million in 3 years.What am I supposed to put in this business plan? Do I list potential clients names and how much money they to invest,  in the business plan? I'm new into this field.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.ThanksDylan 

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

Hi Dylan,I received a call today and scheduled my FIAT test for next week. Since some of the material may still be fresh on your mind, how many economics questions were on it and what were the concepts? I haven't taken econ since I tested out of micro and macro on APs five years ago. And, was it out of 35 or 55 questions? The woman I spoke with today said it is 35, but I've read on the forums it's 55. Anything else you'd share will be appreciated. Thanks.

dylan07079's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-27

duke30 questions. first 12 were simple math. just go over fractions..adding them, subtracting them, multiplying them, dividing them by hand..no calculators are allowed..same for decimals. some inflation questions, government spending question, FIFO/LIFO question, ..i took about an hour to complete the test....it took them four days after i took the test to let me know i passed.     

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

It doesn't sound too hard at all. Were the inflation questions about the general causes of inflation and how to increase/decrease it? And for FIFO/LIFO... Were you presented with actual numbers or some sort of hypothetical situation asking when you would use one over the other? Thanks Dylan-Duke

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

Also, have you started on your busiess plan? A friend of mine sent me the one he wrote (3 pages) a few years ago and he was hired shortly after. On other threads I've seen guys saying they have written over 20 pages, but that seems like overkill and makes me wonder if management will even read that much.

dylan07079's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-27

Duke00 wrote:It doesn't sound too hard at all. Were the inflation questions about the general causes of inflation and how to increase/decrease it? And for FIFO/LIFO... Were you presented with actual numbers or some sort of hypothetical situation asking when you would use one over the other? Thanks Dylan-Duke From what I have read here, you only need 18/30 to pass. The first 12 questions you should get right since they are simple math.  So, you need to get 6/18 (33 percent) on the "harder" questions.  I can't remember the exact FIFO/LIFO question, but it was a pretty basic inventory question.  The inflation questions were pretty basic. Sorry, I can't remember details. Also there were a few word problems were you had to do simple math.  So, its pretty easy. As for the business plan,  I have not started yet. I know it is not going to be 25 pages.  Probably a couple pages.The 3 page business plan that your friend sent you...Do you mind listing a few key points of what he had in there. I have no idea as I come from a different field.  Am I supposed to list potential clients names and how much I think they have to invest?  Any ideas/advice would be appreciated 

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

His starts with "My Mission" followed by:Why Me?Why Merrill Lynch?Why Now?Goals - he listed four. Passing the certification exams, PMD program, find marketing niche, hit/exceed hurdlesMarketing PlanTwo Year Production Goals: Done in table format w/ 3 month intervals, and give $ valuation goals for PC's NNA's and NNHHDaily Routine: basically what time you will get into the office, what you'll do throughout the day and at what time.His seems pretty brief to me, but he was an intern at ML before he was hired. He more than likely built good relationships with people in the office and his business plan didn't need to be as detailed compared to yours and mine since we don't really know anyone in the office yet. He didn't list potential clients but rather mentioned he has made previous connections through certain associations; ie. fraternity, family friends, football team, etc. I've written most of mine so far and followed his format mostly. How many pages are you shooting for? Mine is going to end up around 5-6.

dylan07079's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-27

i am going to start it today. thank you for the tips. i probably will have 3-4 pages max. 

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

I took the test today and was automatically told that I passed. I gave them my business plan before I started the test and they flipped through it real with, eyebrows raised and just smiled at me saying, "you'll do just fine." Parts of mine were brief and in bulletpoints like my marketing plan and the monthly projections were in table form.

rkir's picture
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Joined: 2011-06-04

Hi guys, I've read your discussion and it may help me too.  I am applying to Morgan Stanley for FA trainee and they have their assessment tests online, but I would think they cover similar topics like in ML.  Were your tests timed and how much time did you have? Appreciate your help greatly..

Duke00's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-28

Tests were timed but there was not a limit. The personality test I took said it would take 45 minutes but it took me well over an hour. Some of them were difficult to answer because there were a lot of situational questions and the answer options were pretty much either yes or no. Those questions are what took me the longest to answer.

biggamejames's picture
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Joined: 2012-02-12

Sorry for the basic question, but what does NNA and NNHH stand for? I've just been looking into the Wealth Management industry and have figured out that BD - broker dealer, VA - variable annuity, PC - Production Cost? Any help with abbreviations is much appreciated so I can start sounding a little bit more learned in the industryI am currently in the PMD interview process. I passed the FIAT assessment as well as the phone screening, now I am working on my business plan. Your guys' discussion has helped me a lot. Thank you all

ZwingDing's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-15

biggamejames wrote:Sorry for the basic question, but what does NNA and NNHH stand for? I've just been looking into the Wealth Management industry and have figured out that BD - broker dealer, VA - variable annuity, PC - Production Cost? Any help with abbreviations is much appreciated so I can start sounding a little bit more learned in the industryI am currently in the PMD interview process. I passed the FIAT assessment as well as the phone screening, now I am working on my business plan. Your guys' discussion has helped me a lot. Thank you allPC is production credit. It isthe portion of the total commission that gets run through the grid.NNA = Net New AnnuitizedNNHH = Net New Household, which is a household with a minimum of $250K in assets.

FADavo's picture
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Joined: 2011-06-27

PC is all that matters anymore.  They cut the NNH and NNA out of the hurdles.  You just have PC hurdles.  They have AUM, NNH and NNA "guidelines", but none are hurdles.   

biggamejames's picture
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Joined: 2012-02-12

Thanks for all the info, this will definitely help me write up my plan Cheers

jacksparow00's picture
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Joined: 2012-09-06

Effective and impartial dimension of business performance is one of the most essential Slub Yarns Exporter and important problems for the owners of big and small entrepreneurs these days.

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