AIG or AXA

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repdesign's picture
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Joined: 2007-12-17

I'm being recruited by AIG and AXA.   This is both for their employee model.  Not the AIG independent channel.  I'm at a wirehouse so I don't know much other than what they're telling me. 
 
What are your experiences with either?  Pros and Cons.   The picture being painted is extremely rosy about resources and access to everything. 
 
Any direct experience and recommendations would be much appreciated.

DodgerDraftpick's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-24

I like AXA for VA's and I know of several former employees who don't wholesale anymore but do say they would return because of the company.  Overall if you have an opportunity to become a wholesaler and can do it for VA's grab it their product is probably the best on the market right now and it is a good place to get training at from what I hear.  If you want something different than being a wholesaler not much I can tell you AIG doesn't impress me much on their VA or fixed insurance side of things

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

AXA's back office service is pretty bad...

Robinhood's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-05

Quite frankly, I would AVOID AXA Advisors at ALL COST! At least with AIG, you know what you are getting, in that, they are an insurance company! AXA Advisors, on the other hand, disguises themselves as a 'brokerage firm...' And yet, the first thing they will do, once a financial plan is offered... is to show you a Variable Universal Life. That is the answer to ALL things there. So they think they are a brokerage firm (or at least pretend to be), but they are a FRONT for AXA Equitable.
Now, talk about your out of pocket expenses - YOU will PAY DEARLY for EVERYTHING at AXA Advisors! You want business cards? Out of pocket... You want stationary? Out of pocket... You want access to MorningStar? Out of pocket... You want fries with that? Out of pocket... Eventually, if you make it, then you will have to start paying the cost of your office space too! You might as well go INDY!
 
IMO...

theironhorse's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-03

I have had nothing but bad experience with AXA. 

finadvnj's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-17

Find an independent hybrid firm (B/D and completely independent RIA) with a principal that can mentor you.
You gain flexibility to serve clients with varying needs.
Never obligated to SELL anything.
Always have ability to SELL if client and advisor agree.
Avoid an insurance company subsidiary - it limits what solutions you can provide clients.
 

Morphius's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-21

finadvnj wrote:Find an independent hybrid firm (B/D and completely independent RIA) with a principal that can mentor you.
You gain flexibility to serve clients with varying needs.
Never obligated to SELL anything.
Always have ability to SELL if client and advisor agree.
Avoid an insurance company subsidiary - it limits what solutions you can provide clients.
 If you never "sell anything," how will you help anyone or earn any money?  Don't be naive enough to think that selling is bad, and not selling is good.  Nothing happens until you can compel - or "sell" someone - to take action.  If you don't want to sell, you're in the wrong line of work.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Find an independent hybrid firm (B/D and completely independent RIA) with a principal that can mentor you.
 
Avoid an insurance company subsidiary - it limits what solutions you can provide clients.
 
Name one thing that can be done with an independent hybrid that can't be done with an insurance company subsidiary.

finadvnj's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-17

Charging a planning fee and/or an investment management can generate MORE revenue than a commission from a "sale".   The point is to provide a solution in a revenue model that is best for the client.
Many insurance companies provide an incentive (higher commission rate, "discount" office space, subsidized healthcare costs, 401(k) match, etc.) to "sell" their proprietary solutions.  This makes it difficult to provide the best solution to the client.
 
Many insurance companies make it difficult (must show their solution in an illustration,  must offer their solution before another company's, must have a certain % or volume of their proprietary solution, etc.) to offer their competitors' solutions.  They also offer captive solutions, where a BOR (when you leave) is prohibitive.
 
Many insurance companies require compliance oversight (control) of the RIA - voiding the idea of an "independent" RIA.  Imagine waiting approval (denial) as compliance tries to understand if you should provide a solution that is in the best interest of the client.
 
Many insurance companies want a percentage of the revenue you generate from the RIA - what a joke.

Dark Knight's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-30

Finadvnj, 
 
Maybe I should know this, (I'm independent with RayJames)  but if you set up a separtate RIA doesn't the idependent BD still require a % of your revenues?  That was how I understood it and thought the time and expense wasn't worth the hassle.  If you do that do you use Fidelity/Schwabb accounts?  I've tried to search for topics on this but with limited success.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

The point is to provide a solution in a revenue model that is best for the client.
Nope.  A rep can choose the revenue model that is best for the rep.  It's a business decision.   If I'm getting paid to give advice, I can't go the RR route even if it is cheaper for the client.


Many insurance companies provide an incentive (higher commission rate, "discount" office space, subsidized healthcare costs, 401(k) match, etc.) to "sell" their proprietary solutions. 
 
100% correct.  You can even change it to free office space, pension, trips, life insurance, and disability insurance.
 
This makes it difficult to provide the best solution to the client.
 
Actually, not at all.  This is only true for someone really struggling.  The hurdles to maintain a career contract are very low.   
 
Many insurance companies make it difficult (must show their solution in an illustration,  must offer their solution before another company's, must have a certain % or volume of their proprietary solution, etc.) to offer their competitors' solutions.  They also offer captive solutions, where a BOR (when you leave) is prohibitive.
 
When all that is the case, of course, that company may not be a good place for the rep.
 
Many insurance companies require compliance oversight (control) of the RIA - voiding the idea of an "independent" RIA.  Imagine waiting approval (denial) as compliance tries to understand if you should provide a solution that is in the best interest of the client.
 
It's not the insurance company that wants compliance oversight of the RIA, it is the insurance company's B/D that wants the compliance oversight.    Your indy hybrid firm has this exact same issue.  EVERYTHING that is done under the RIA is the responsibility of the B/D as an outside business activity.  The fact that you have a B/D destroys any complete independence.  The B/D has a say in how you do your RIA business just like they have a say in whether you wait tables on the weekend.
 

Many insurance companies want a percentage of the revenue you generate from the RIA - what a joke.
 
How is an insurance company going to take revenue?  On the other hand, a B/D can take a piece because of the compliance oversight involved.  In fact, I would say that a B/D is playing with fire if they don't watch over things pretty tightly.
 
Anyway, I noticed that you didn't mention one thing that could be done with an independent hybrid firm that can't be done with an insurance company subsidiary (BD + RIA).
 
Dark Knight, I don't know RayJay but usually the indy B/D will require compensation since they have supervisor responsibility even though the business doesn't follow under their B/D.
 
Many insurance companies want a percentage of the revenue you generate from the RIA - what a joke.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Correct me if I''m wrong but I believe that AXA=Amex sucks. That should explain everything.

megamonet's picture
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Joined: 2008-01-02

Not a correction but an addition- if you are actually BJQ, then you would suck, too.

Morphius's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-21

thatgirl wrote:Correct me if I''m wrong but I believe that AXA=Amex sucks. That should explain everything.You asked to be corrected if you're wrong.  You're wrong.  Again.  AXA does not = Amex. Get a clue.

finadvnj's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-17

The B/D should not take a penny from your independent RIA.
If they do, you better feel they MORE than earn it.
Few if any BDs or RIAs can substantiate the 2-50 bps, fixed costs, etc. BDs collect from the RIAs.
Feel free to email me privately with a phone number and I would be happy to chat.
No, I am not a recruiter - just trying to share the truth.
Click the arrow next to my name finadvnj to send me a private message.

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