AGE/WB Defection--not rumor

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ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-05

John and Jim (his brother) Lee (no relation to Bruce or Robert E.) bailed out the door (last week I think) for Stifel. These are California guys. John was a regional director and Jim was a branch manager in Sacramento, CA.
 
 

brokerman's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-29

I am leaving tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Morphius's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-21

Good luck brokerman.  May The Force be with you!

WSxAG's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-23

Left several weeks ago. Couldn't be happier.

Gordon Gekko's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-08

The path of least resistance (staying and seeing what shakes out) seems to be real attractive to me. We'll see how it goes.

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-05

Good luck to all of you guys/gals no matter what you did or will do.
There's an announcement on Stifel's website now about John and Jim Lee if you wish to read it.

FL Broker's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-02

I left earlier this month for Raymond James.  Look for the pace of the AGE exodus to pick up as the August 31 retention package declaration deadline approaches...

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-05

There was a Dow Jones' piece today comparing both firms' compensation packages/production/AUM et al. Also some speculation as to what the final comp plan would look like (some headhunter chimed in).
For those of you who are still on the fence and have interest, e-mail me if you want at LoveLEHGirl@aol.com. I don't want to post the article here (TOS violations).
FD: I am not with WB. I am not with AGE. I am not a headhunter. I am not with LEHman, either. I do hope you all enjoyed last week's upgrade (by LEHman) on RIMM. 20% in a week or less in a nice trade in anyone's book!
Have a great weekend one and all.
 

Gordon Gekko's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-08

I like Ferris' idea of splitting the upfront money of the fcs that leave. It will never happen but it's nice to think about.
What I want to know is how is the AGE/WB combo going to increase the average production of us lowly AGE guys. We average 350k, they average 666k. Any ideas?

YHWY's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

What I want to know is how is the AGE/WB combo going to increase the
average production of us lowly AGE guys. We average 350k, they average
666k. Any ideas? That's easy. IF you happen to be one of the average ones (any of the 4000 + AGE FC who do $350k or less (@$350k is the MEAN, the MEDIAN is more like $290), you will have your payout cut to the point that you will either 1) Work like hell to get your production up above @$400k so you can be back where you were pre-merger 2) Downsize your home, your car, your eating habits and, probably your wife, or 3) You will continue to work to grow your business to get it to $400k and beyond, but do it with a firm that values you (even as a $300-$350 "lowlife" and shows you that your business is profitable by letting you actually keep the fruits of your labor. So, as you can see, WB will raise the average production of AGE brokers by, mostly, squeezing them out. Look on the bright side, those who are left will be among those with a higher average production! P.S. Bobby and yourself are welcome to my share of the retention package, as I have no desire to get into that bed to begin with. 

Gordon Gekko's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-08

Did you mean Ferris (not Bobby) as far as the sharing?
I think a certain fc from Rochester put it best. How do you know if B is better than A until you see what A is like?

YHWY's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

GG, Yeah, I guess I meant Ferris. If Danny wants to add my retention dollars to a pool shared by those who stay, that'd be fine by me. (I'm sure Danny would do that for you newest members of the family). Your question reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite movies, "Well, I don't know any lepers either, but I'm going to run out and join one of their F-in' clubs." I have no desire to work for a giant wire house (I mean, bank) and, I've seen the Pro Formas from the independent alternative(s). I'm a small business man, not a huge conglomerate employee; but hey, that's just me. Good luck to you all!

GoingIndy????'s picture
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Joined: 2007-07-01

Gordon Gekko wrote:
I think a certain fc from Rochester put it best. How do you know if B is better than A until you see what A is like?Don't think for a second he didn't get a little extra cash for that line.  Not too mention he's over 60 and it would be an administrative nightmare for him to leave.  He works only about 4 hours a day now.  A guy working that little isn't going anywhere.  We can only hope to get to that. 

Gordon Gekko's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-08

So I guess he lied when it was asked if he was paid and he said no. Using the top guys and gals as a benchmark probably has little to do with the fcs doing 350k. However, I think they were being honest.

YHWY's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

Personally, I think Danny said it best in one of his first speeches to us. He used words to the effect of, The way this business is going, there will, at some point, only be two alternatives, Merrill or WB. That absolutely floored me. It also got me thinking about alternatives. I noticed, right off, that the independent side of the business had seemed to have completely slipped Danny's mind. GG, you seem to have talked yourself into staying and accepting whatever they choose to give you. I honestly wish you all the luck in the world. 

GoingIndy????'s picture
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Joined: 2007-07-01

maybe ny fc didn't get paid, but a guy who has it down to about 4 hours a day isn't moving anyway. 

Gordon Gekko's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-08

and who is to say Raymond James won't get taken out tomorrow?

Tarpon's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-12

Several large brokers left AG last week and jumped to RJ.  This was in the Sarasota/Port Charlotte area of FL.  The amount of defections are increasing quickly. 
As more advisors leave AG the remaining brokers are realizing they are part of a sinking ship.  This merger is going to be a mess. 
 

GoingIndy????'s picture
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Joined: 2007-07-01

you may be right.  It could happen.  However if it did they would have to keep RJ or LPL on an indy high payout structure similar to Finet with WS.  I could see WS going after RJ at some point.Longer term I see a continued trend of dual registration (brokerage/RIA) at the indy's.  The large wires will need to adopt this at some point to retain/attract fee based indy reps.  If not they'll jump to full RIA with Schwab or Fidelity. IMO this wave is about 5-7 yrs down the road.  The reps turning to a larger fee based business will always have options and be desired by all firms.  The other trend after these firms consolidate will be reduction of reps.  CFP's will be mandatory and production requirements will be large.  (again 5-7 yrs)

GoingIndy????'s picture
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Joined: 2007-07-01

my above post was response to Gekko, the quote didn't show up.

Buddy's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-13

You are right the defections are increasing.  I left AGE after a long tenure with the firm.  I would rather been there for life because it used to be a really good firm. How can anyone stay when you can't believe a word anyone says in upper management!  I don't know if this is true but I have been told that Wach only expects to keep about 40% of the current force.
 
 

aldo63's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11

we have got few AGE people at ferris baker watts in the last few weeks

Gordon Gekko's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-08

I think speculation about anything (fc retention, payouts, etc.) is a joke seeing that nothing is changing for another year. If things stink at that point, the FBW/RJF alternative will still be there.
Thinking that AGE was the only client-first culture out there is misguided. Fc's, regardless of employer/top-management, will follow their instincts (client first or yield to broker).

nestegg's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-14

Exactly Gordon...I am w you...another year to build business/prepare clinets if things dont got well..pick up assets from those that jumped early, and if things dont suck guess what we didnt jump from the frying pan into the fire like these guys are now..if they do we can still leave..whats the rush? Havent had a single person in my 15 person office leave as of yet

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

Havent had a single person in my 15 person office leave as of yet.
Get back to us on Tuesday. With the long Holiday weekend approaching I have a feeling that a lot of FA's, regardless of the firm, are going to be cashing massive checks and changing the address on their business cards...

YHWY's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

In case anyone cares (All together now, "We don't!!") I plan to leave by February, '08. This will give a chance to build out a killer office space and find top notch support staff and not rush. It will also get me out before WB can have any money to hold over my head (I am forgoing the Loan Bonus option). Perhaps others have a similar time line in mind. So there may be a lull in attrition for a few months. Again, I'm sure you all care....

SeriousMoney's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-27

I am considering moving myself and have an interest in sharing my circumstance for feedback. Been with AGE for 6 years.. Now I am 30 yrs old and forced to look at my next 30 years with a Major Wirehouse. By default WB, or by choice considering ML. Just because it is pertinant : I will do 500M+ this year w/ 60MM in assets and I am struggling with the "stay or go" delema. Main reason for the consideration is , I am having trouble with the WB brand. After polling clients over the past weeks it is evident that they do too. Will our clients understand the difference between Wach Sec..and the WB broker who tried to sell Mom the annuity when she went in to renew her CD??  While I understand that clients do business with their advisor in most cases because of the advisor. However, I believe a strong brand certainly helps at least initially.
I know the guys at ML are not working any harder or any smarter. But their numbers speak for themselves. On average a ML FA has more assets, revenue, gross, avg acct size..the list goes on.. Trying to keep the ENORMOUS amount of their offer from clouding my judgement.  However, given my circumstances the move is really looking good..I can't imagine a better time.. Any opinions? Understand indy is not for me..  I spend too much time outside the office, hate dealing with the details and like the leverage of an office environment.
Also where do look for info on how to move the right way?

FL Broker's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-02

I left AGE after many years in large part because of the self-enriching act of betrayal by Bagby, who was complicit in (if not the architect of) the sellout to a bank-controlled enterprise.  The retention plan, especially the "they'll-never-have-to-pay-most-of-it" deferred element, wasn't an incentive to me.  I'd rather do business in a pleasant and competent environment with less ambiguity (and with a larger recruitment bonus) than in a setting of operational and compensation cloudiness (with a retention plan that was trumpeted as industry-leading prior to its unveiling only to be revealed as a minimal effort upon its actual disclosure).
I've retained virtually all of my A and B clients who I wanted to retain.  They do business with the FC and not the firm.  Believe it or not, many if not most were unaware of the merger.  (They have their own lives to worry about and probably don't ever read those statement inserts or keep up with M&A developments.)  What did I tell my clients?  By noting that the AGE name would be going away, that a bank and its agenda would ultimately be the controlling parent of the new firm, that Ben Edwards was given a standing ovation at the shareholders meeting after voicing his displeasure with the merger, and that, acting in what I felt were my clients' and family's best interests, I had chosen to transition my practice to a firm that in my view provided a level of visibility, cultural comfort and professional capability that was important to THEIR advisor, clients UNDERSTOOD.  After all, as many of you know, a good percentage of households in any book have experienced a job change in the past seven years.  To members of those households, I joked that I was jealous of that they had changed jobs and that I hadn't -- and they offered their congratulations just as I offered mine to them in the past.
Be not afraid.  There is life after AGE.  Talk to other firms to assess whether they offer you a good professional fit.  Take the time to prepare your spreadsheets according to the protocol agreement.  It's a time-consuming effort, but well worth it.  (This is a spreadsheet you can take with you that lists your clients' names, addresses, phone numbers and account titles/types (but not account numbers).  Your new B/D will provide further details on the do's and don't's.  Find out what transition services your new B/D can offer.  Ensure that they cover (reimburse) transfer and termination fees.  It's powerful to let clients know that they won't have to incur a charge just because you decided to change firms.  AGE will send out a strong-toned letter promising various charges should the client choose to leave.  DOZENS of clients have commented how unprofessional / intimidating the letter came across.   Also, it's important to let clients know that their accounts can transfer over in-kind.  Many don't understand what in-kind means, so I explain that they won't have to sell their investments and then re-buy them -- that everything just transfers over as-is.  The "what happens to my investments" questions is perhaps their most important concern.
Good luck to all.  Some believe that by staying they'll pick up assets from departing FCs.  After seeing their treasure of assigned accounts ACAT themselves away after spending the better part of an unproductive week trying to retain those assets, some will "get" that their clients will be just as loyal as those of the departed FC.
Hint:  Leave later in the day on a Friday, preferably before a long weekend, to minimize the chance that your accounts can be called or have a mailing sent to them the same day.  You can only call your accounts one at a time.  If your AGE accounts are divided up among a half dozen or so FCs, your asset-hungry former colleagues can cover more ground more quickly.  You want your "new firm" announcements and account transfer forms to be in the mail on Friday afternoon for Saturday delivery -- and plan to call late on Friday and all day Saturday to advise your valued clients of your move.  Then make sure your clients fill out and return their forms right away -- or preferably come in to have you assist them with the paperwork.  Shoot for a 75% paperwork-received rate three weeks after you move with the remainder that you want coming over within the next month. 
Also, consider the timing of your move with the payment of trails and fees.  AGE brokers might prefer to depart in a month when such payments are minimal.  Consider, too, the timing of your ACAT submissions.  Accounts will be frozen for a few days.  Try to time the ACATs so as not to disrupt monthly payouts, MAPs or other automated processes.  Clients will appreciate your effort to minimize disruptions to their routines.
Hope this has been beneficial to those considering a transition.

Broker Fee's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

That was a very helpful post FL Broker I agree with all you said.
25% have left my former AGE office, I know for sure that a 500k  producer will be leaving tomorrow prior to the long weekend. I suspect more will follow in the coming months.

Gordon Gekko's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-08

I concur with Ferris - I am not leaving now but that is a great guideline if I do.

YHWY's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

Kudos FL Broker. Thanks for the time it took to share that. To all you AGE stalwarts, don't count on sitting back and picking up new A & B clients when one of us leaves. Those who leave prepared will leave only the dregs, to whom you are more than welcome. You'll want to brush up on when all those C client dividend checks go out, because they'll be calling you EVERY dividend period asking where the check is the day BEFORE it is supposed to be paid. 

WSxAG's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-23

YHYW -
yep.

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

FL Broker- where did you go if you feel comfortable mentioning it?

Rusty's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-29

2 Brokers in Richmond AGE Left last Friday.  Went to Keegan.

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

Rusty wrote:
2 Brokers in Richmond AGE Left last Friday.  Went to Keegan.

Morgan Keegan appears to be busting out, growth-wise. They just absorbed a Smith Barney office that closed, in my general area. They appear to be a decent lot.

Hydeho's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

Morgan Keegan in Richmond is a step up (small) form
Anderson and Strudwick. LOL!

shredder's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-04

Morgan Keegan appears to be busting out, growth-wise. They just absorbed a Smith Barney office that closed, in my general area. They appear to be a decent lot.

Add them to the list of "soon to be acquired." Go there and you'll just be going thru this ordeal again in 2 yrs

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

As long as you're laughing why not tell us what is wrong with Anderson Strudwick?
How about Scott and Stringfellow--do they suck too?
Davenport and Company?
What makes you qualified to make statements like the one above?

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Quote:
Morgan Keegan appears to be busting out, growth-wise. They just absorbed a Smith Barney office that closed, in my general area. They appear to be a decent lot.
Quote:
Add them to the list of "soon to be acquired." Go there and you'll just be going thru this ordeal again in 2 yrs

Who do you think owns Morgan Keegan now?

YHWY's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

Lady's Choice (Isn't that a tampon brand??), Didn't admin just boot you AGAIN today and ask us to "out" you to admin. if you show up again? I have no desire to do so, but it seems odd that you're so desperate to post here.

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

It's not odd. It's pathetic.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Haven't you heard? 
There is a conspiracy to get the goods on the posters here and turn them into the SEC.
Just because you're paranoid does not mean that they are not out to get you.

aldo63's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11

I am with a regional. IM me and i will tel you the in's and out of davenport, anderson, FBW

YHWY's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

Come -n- get me! I am a 100% purely legitimate, honest, and complaint free Financial Advisor. Now, back to you........Put Trader, DAtoo, DAtwo, Needs Advice. What's your excuse?

Hydeho's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

S&S- nothing really wrong with them except BB&T didn't/doesn't know what to do with them. Some good research.
Davenport- Is your blood blue enough!
A&S-Where failed bank brokers go to stay in the business. one big error from going out of business (No insult meant to bank brokers)
 
 

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Is Branch Cabell still in Richmond?  It was another blue blood firm--may have been acquired by Davenport.  I used to play golf with their CEO in the early '90s--he died.  Seems like his name was Mason New, but I can't recall right now.
As for A&S--you're right, they are marginally capitalized and the management team is a bit lacking in luster, even though they're good guys as men.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Quote:
I guess people will go to great lengths not to have to talk to you.

That is what passes for clever among the sophomoric set.

ExPropTrader's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-19

Ferris Bueller wrote: Lady's Choice wrote: I used to play golf with their CEO in the early '90s-- he died.  I guess people will go to great lengths not to have to talk to you.

Gordon Gekko's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-08

has anyone heard anything about Ferris Baker Watts?

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

Ask Aldo...he went there...

judyowen's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-27

I recruit for them.  What would you like to know?

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