Bernstein Private Client

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futureadvisor's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-27

Anybody know about getting hired to work in Bernstein Private client (www.bernstein.com)  As far as pay, opportunities to sell and products, ect.

knucklehead's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-27

futureadvisor wrote:Anybody know about getting hired to work in Bernstein Private client (www.bernstein.com)  As far as pay, opportunities to sell and products, ect.

THey only start you at $250,000/year, and they make you work 40 hours per week. I'd stay away.

futureadvisor's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-27

Yea that would be just awful.  Do you think they want people who already have books of business or those just starting up?

knucklehead's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-27

futureadvisor wrote:Yea that would be just awful.  Do you think they want people who already have books of business or those just starting up?

They prefer that you bring nothing of value to the table.

rightway's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

You are paid based on new business only, recieving very little trail on
existing client portfolios.  You don't really manage the
relationships, buit rather contstantly hunt for new clients.  This
is a very structured program with intense training and ritualistic
process.  Once you are there for a while, they expect you to bring
in something along the line of 50 to 100 million PER YEAR in new
business...no kidding.  The funny thing is they actually get it
done.  They have 1 guy who has brought in over 100 million each of
the following 10 years (San Fran area). 

Remember though...all of this money you bring in is not a "book" you are building.  Its all about new clients.

futureadvisor's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-27

Wow, thanks.  And how much do guys bringing in that much business make? As much as at a wirehouse?  And what about getting a job there, how diffiuclt, how do you go about it, do they want experience?

NASD Newbie's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-01

Put yourself in the mind of a decision maker at a pension plan with hundreds of millions of dollars.
Do you suppose you'd be impressed with a kid who came in to try to get a piece of that pie to manage--or do you suppose that a fifty year old woman wearing a St. John suit is going to make a better impression?

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

Bernstein is the real deal.... Like Right said, they have a small advisor force who solely focuses on accounts $2M and up.... I know that they focus on developing relationships with local attorneys and CPA's to gain access to their client base....
They primarily use AB proprietary funds, and are very good at selling their investment management process.... It amazes me that in this day of open architecture and a trend away from prop funds, that this strategy still works....
In terms of client service, they are basically hands off after the sale.... The client is assigned a team in NY who handles the daily investment monitoring, trading, etc.
And Right is correct in that they are epxected to be bringing in $50M per YEAR by their fifth year.... And these guys get it done....
We just had a Bernstein office open up about 8 months ago in our area, and it has several of our heavy hitters very nervous....
These guys are good. Real good... If one of your clients is in play I would mentally prepare yourself for an ACAT-out....

futureadvisor's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-27

Any idea on getting hired?  How that proccess works and who they recuit?

dividends's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-04

Ask your friendly neighborhood AB wholesaler for a book they have published about how the Private Client group goes after CPA alliances.  Very good stuff.  All they sell are the AB Wealth Strategies models (very good asset allocation portfolios).

rightway's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

I understand most of the reps their were experienced in other areas of
business and sales, but were new to this business.  They need to
be good at networking and sales, and militant in following thier
process:  They are required to have something along the lines of
15 prospect/professional alliance meetings per week...no excuses ( met
for a former AB Rep for a couple hours a while back). 

They don't really go after the 100 million dollar pension plan, but
rather the 2-5 million dollar households.  The interesting
approach is that they go after these folks via their advisors, not them
directly. 

They pay structure is completely different from a wirehouse, because it
is a very different job.  They are paid on new relationship sales.

futureadvisor's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-27

Do you think they can make as much as someone producing that much a wirehouse?

rightway's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

Producing what?  You are missing the point.  In a Wire you
get paid on the relationship for as long as it is with you.  For
exam[le if the relationship generates 1% in revenue you will recieve a
portion of that 1% for as long as it is there.  The AB is nothing
like that:

The AB may get paid several thouand dollars for bringing it in, then
very very little from that point on, no where near the portion of the
1% the Wire rep would get.

The AB is a salesperson all the time.  A good wire rep is a salesperson as well as an avisor.

high net worth insurance's picture
Joined: 2011-07-07

I would look into the wire over the AB if you are looking for a steady flow of income. The AB will make you a lot of money up front but it is a much tougher atmosphere. There can be a lot of rough times with this too.JohnMA Private Client Group

Texaskid's picture
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Joined: 2016-09-22

I used to work at Bernstein and I will tell you that much of what has been shared is correct. I have been gone since 2009, so my info may be dated, but I don't think they have changed much. When I was there there they didn't want anyone with industry experience, only sales experience. They then train you in the Bernstein way - 3 months in New York drinking the kool aid. They teach you how to make presentations to CPAs and attorneys. That is their gig. You are on salary at first with a fairly generous expense account. Then the whole deal is bringing in assets. First year goal was about $15 million. You are expected to have 15 meetings a week and are monitored by your Managing Director. Their comp is 40% of fees first year you get the business and then only a 10% trail thereafter so the whole emphasis every year no matter how long you've been there is bringing in new assets. Second year you need about $25 million, third about $40-45, third year about $50-60 million, fourth year about $75 million and then it goes up from there to about $85 million up to about $100 million for those who have been there that long and that amount every year thereafter. The goal is to become a director because then you've arrived, but still expected to bring in $100 million a year. If you don't hit the goals they may give you grace for a year, but not long - you are an employee and fired. Your assets are then transferred to other advisors and especially the directors. Its like salmon swimming up stream. If you make director it can be lucrative to inherit those accounts from those who don't make it. When they fire you they give you a 6 month severence and you sign a 2 year non compete or non solicitation so it is very hard to move your business unless your clients contact you.

Their core competency is marketing, not money management!! All their portfolios at the time I was there were proprietary. Not open architecture. That sucks for clients when the market crashes because THEY DIDN'T TELL CLIENTS TO GO TO CASH OR OFFER THEM AN ALTERNATIVE FROM AN UNDER PERFORMING PORTFOLIO BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THEM. Their mantra is always "Stay the course". Clients can see right through this because you don't have an alternative and they know you have to keep getting fees - not in the clients interest.

They do bring amazing planning capabilities and wealth forecasting is the best on the street even in very complex estate planning or business sale cases - that's where they shine and get the CPA and attorney buy in. They do this for free. But the money management has been hard pressed. Look at the assets that left the firm after the crash.

Enough said.

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