Considering BAC

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stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

I am currently considering moving from my current wire to BAC.  I got an offer that I feel is very competitive.
I have read many posts in here, mostly bashing BAC.  Can someone tell me more about BAC and why I should or should not make the move?
Currently grossing over $200k/yr.
Thanks

Mike Damone's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-01

Are you nuts?

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

please explain

ezmoney's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

big career mistake. take it from someone who was an fa for bac. don't do it, and thank me later. if you do it shame on you.

nestegg's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-14

I think they really want 350k plus for transfers

feng shui's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-24

Stock,
Tell me, in your words, what you think their value proposition is and then let me respond and I will show the holes in the system.

today1's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

BAC is the worst place you could go to.  they will sell you a bill of goods and never deliver.  i urge you to talk to all the recruits that came over in the last few years and see how they feel.

Deaniac's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-03

run Forest run!!!!

alwaysbullish's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-16

It would be the worst mistake you could make.  Please believe me and
the others who have posted.  After a very lengthy career with a major
wirehouse firm and many opportunities throughout the years to be
recruited elsewhere, I moved to BAI because I believed they truly had a
different business model that would allow me to grow my business.  It
was full of empty promises.  In addition,  you would not believe what
you have to put up with on a day to day basis just to do business. 
Further, the payout is low, you earn bonus based on meeting metrics for
production you really already earned.  I could go on and on.  Look
anywhere else but there.

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

They said that the client managers would bring me referals, that I would not have to worry about leads, and that a check would be offered.  They have not mentioned a check amount yet.  Do you all know how much they usually offer?  ALso, I see everyone's negativity towards BAC, but what is it that they do so wrong?  How is their payouts low?  I need some good answers because to me it seems like a good deal right now.
Thanks

banknomore's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-22

Who's they? I was told that years ago too and it never happened. When I left, I was generating 90% of my revenue off clients I brought. Which leads to the next point. Get it in writing that what you bring to them is yours. Your client managers will be cross selling bank products to clients. Not sure of the area/location but that could have something to do with your success. Also, will you have one or multi cm's? How long have they been there? If you are taking over from a previous rep, why did they leave.

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

I have not had the opportunity to question them yet on those questions.  They is the VP of marketing who has been interviewing me.  Also, why did you leave?  I am glad to hear from more than one person as this could persuade me not chose BAC.  Are you now indy?

banknomore's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-22

I am indy. I have worked in all three channels. I left because since I was already doing everything myself and did not get any support, why give them anything. Don't leave just because you think you will get access to more clients to work with. Rely on yourself for that.
I suggest if you are serious about them you find out who your manager will be and what location are they looking to place you.
 
The upfront check can be very costly if things don't work out.

snaggletooth's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-13

I remember there being a story a couple of years ago, it was pretty well known at the time, of BAC recruiting a multi-million dollar producing team from Merrill in Ohio I think, to move them to San Diego with promises they would have access to the entire Southern California area BAC clients.  Well a year or so into it, they were denied that access and lost a ton of money in production due to it. 
 
These guys got screwed over by BAC. 

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

Wow.  Any ideas on if BAC is still like this?  Most of the stories I have read have been from the last few years past.  Have they changed?
If  not Maybe I should not move to them.
Thanks

alwaysbullish's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-16

There are generally several ways that you can be partnered.  One is to have a Premier Banking Client Manager, another is to have a branch(es) to which you are assigned.  Other possibilities are to be partnered with a Business Banking CM or a Commercial Bank CM.  One or both of the first two is most common.  What they don't tell you is that the CM's usually have other FA's that they work with and that they are not necessarily loyal to you.  Further, that the incentive they have to refer to you changes all of the time.As far as the up front money, I can only tell you that I would never have accepted a deal structured the way it was if I knew then what I know now.  You received a smaller percentage up front with a higher percentage available at the end of 13 months or 25 months upon hitting certain percentages of your trailing 12 production.  Most other firms structure their deals as all up front or small variations of that and the total deal is higher.  The up front money is structured as a promissory note which you agree to pay back no matter the reason for leaving.  This is a source of a great many arbitrations if you look at the FINRA site.Instead of focusing on production which is your main reason for being there, they require that you do a certain number of financial plans for clients, that you enter notes of all of your client contacts into a new but awful contact management system, that you do a certain number of referrals to your CM or Private Bank, etc.  These are some of the metrics that your bonus is contingent upon.  Remember, your bonus is money that is held back from your production (ie. you have already earned it) that they are now going to arbitrarily pay you with it.  Further, you must get trade pre-approvals for $100m trades of just about anything, that you have switch letters signed or break point forms approved before entering mutual fund trades, etc.  Try seeing how user friendly the research is if you have transaction based accounts.  They also hold back 10% of your gross produced from an account that is referred to you from your CM for one year.  I could go on and on.  If you compare the grid to the other firms it is lower almost across the board.  There are additional elements to the payout that can/do reduce what you ultimately get.

feng shui's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-24

Let this fool go over to BAC and learn for himself.
I am in the midst of going to arbitration with them now over their deceptive recruitment in 05. The few buddies I still know over there are looking to get out ASAP after their contract expires.
 
Stockguy, if you can''t figure it out by now then you deserve what you get.

today1's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

alwaysbullish put it well. 
 
the problem with their comp plan is that it is like a circus act.  as soon as you figure it out they change it again.  the holding back on the comp is what did it for me.  if you subtract from the normal grid what they hold back your payout goes dow to about 26% on the grid.  they tell you that you can get it back by doing all of the notes, financial plans, cross referrals etc, but if you factor in all of the time it takes to do all of that b.s. you might as well go flip burgers.  on top of the hold back is the fact that if you get a lazy CM or other partner you are basically stuck doing a brokers job and a bankers job at the same time.   so basically you were harder, get paid less, and have to deal with every trade getting scrutinized.  you better make sure you get either a top territory of multiple CM's, otherwise you will probably be just another disgruntled BAC advisor on this post.

alwaysbullish's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-16

today1 is right on point also.  I didn't have time to elaborate when I was writing my previous post so, thank you today1 for explaining it further.  I have spoken to many other recruits who have taken a huge financial penalty for going to BAI, including myself.

Butkus's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-10

A friend of mine switched to BAC 1.5 years ago. He has extensive industry experience with a regional and a wirehouse. He loves it there. I ignore everything I read on this forum.

snaggletooth's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-13

Butkus wrote:A friend of mine switched to BAC 1.5 years ago. He has extensive industry experience with a regional and a wirehouse. He loves it there. I ignore everything I read on this forum.
 
When there are 9 people saying one thing, and 1 person saying another, it might mean something.  Maybe it is you that should be ignored.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

I ignore everything I read on this forum.
 
You should look up the definition of the word "ignore".  Responding is not ignoring.

Butkus's picture
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Joined: 2005-11-10

I want to amend my earlier post on this part: "I ignore everything I read on this forum" to " "I don't believe anything I read on this forum." I've seen too many items stated as facts that I knew to be incorrect.

overhead's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-11

Stockguy,
 
  If you are truly a stock guy, BAC is not the place to be.  The systems are not geared towards daily trade activity.  I think BAC is one of the better places to grow your practice as you have access to a lot of clients.  Keep in mind, I said "ACCESS TO", as clients don't just show up.  Compliance is pretty strict, but manageable.  The most significant thing you will need to assess is whether your immediate manager is a brokerage person or bank person.  If you don't know the difference, find out.

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

The person I am speaking with is in the premier investments side.  I would be reporting to him directly.  I know of a Jones person who went to BAC and now is producing close to a million.  I just want to know from those of you who are with BAC or were with them, how is the business there.  I have heard that it is a great place to grow your book.  I have a heard from many "haters" but I take them with a grain of salt.  I have heard from many haters of my current firm.  I cant imagine that it can be as bad as you haters have been saying.  I have a client who has had the same FA from BAC for almost 15 years.  Why would anyone stay that long if they hated it?
I would really like to hear from someone who likes BAC and for them to tell me why they do.
 

poggin's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-12

I left after three years there.  The comp plan was a moving target, rewarding different activities each year, and gradually declining.  Remember, the upfront check is just a loan, that's all, not a gift or reward.

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

I know a few guys that went there and nobody is presently a fan of BAC. They tried real hard to get me there, I was close but thank goodness backed off.  It seems like 10% of the brokers love it and most don't.

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

is the check a forgivable loan?  How do they figure that into your production?

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

poggin, did you fullfill your contract requirements and were able to not pay back any of the so called loan?  For everyone:  how much is a standard offer from them for the upfront money?
I think mine was alittle low.  Do most get 1 1/2 times ttm?
 

poggin's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-12

In my case the loan had to be repaid.  I don't know what you are referring to when you say "contract requirements".  The loan was a forgivable loan, just that, nothing else.  I was naive at the time and was very proud of what they offered.  Now I realize that they didn't really offer me anything but a loan.  Unless they've changed things I'd say please don't refer to the money as "upfront" money.

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

I hear your point.  By contract requirements, I meant that they say you have to gross a certain level each  year to have that portion of your loan forgiven, or that you must stay 3 years before you can leave.  Since you said your loan was repaid, you must not have met those.

poggin's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-12

OK, now I understand what you were saying.  You still have to write a check to pay a payment on the loan each year...then BAC will pay you that amount less taxes back.  I had to pay the balance of the loan to leave.  Sorry for any misunderstanding...just a little bitter here, but very glad to be independent.

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

how does that loan deal benefit you as a broker then?  Also, how hard was it to go indy?  I am considering that to.  I am just getting frustrated with my current firm (sure you can figure out which one it is, but I will leave it blank for now).  I want a little more availability in what I can offer my clients, and other issues as well. 
Do you think it would be wise to go to a bank and then after a few years go indy?

feng shui's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-24

Here is what you will learn about BAISI:
 
1. In theory, their value proposition is great (a premier partner/banker will mine the client database for high net worth clients and make the introductions for you basically making you a partner of the client and the premier banker). However, in reality, the premier bankers are a revolving door as they come and go like illegal immigrants. It is completely confusing to the client to hear from new premier partners every 6 months or so. The big brokers have an ally in the few long term premier partners that have been there. Ask what location you will be stationed at and how long the "bank team" (premier bankers AND branch managers) have been there. Ask about the turnover. Not all regions have high turnover. If you are not a large producer where you are now, you will be assigned a sh!thole branch and will be responsible for producing your own leads.
 
2. Their comp is aimed at fee based business. If you are transactional (stock OR bond), you will be penalized.
 
3. If you go to BAI and build a book, it ain't yours and they will come after you.
 
4. The incentives for the referral system change annually for both the bankers and you. So do the freakin ridiculous metrics on what you are referring back to the bank.
 
Here is an idea: why don't you move over there and do a reality show on it so we can be entertained? 

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

That is not the story I got from the vp I was speaking to.
Are you a disgruntled BAC broker?  By the way, what does BAISI stand for?
 

poggin's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-12

If you don't get it by now...go for it!

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

They also penalize if you do a lot of c-share business instead of their auto pilot fee programs. I seems to recall a mid to low 20 % payout on trails. I don't know where you work now or if you do mutual fund/annuity business but you get hammered at BAC.

freeman12's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-23

     This smells like a little PR for the bank. The haters are haters because they legitimately hate people who screw them or lie to them.
     IF stockguy hasnt seen dollar amounts, terms etc then you really arent talking to them past the first recruiting call. The first conversation I had when BAC came calling they were throwing out numbers and offering paperwork. The second meeting I showed them my W2's ( I was still a Kool Aid Drinker) and the VP wet himself. Why? Because they are desperate for FA's.
They will lead with 1. Promise of shooting fish in a barrell because of the bank feeding you referals. 2. They will talk a lot of crap about business bankers and wealth managers working with you - wont happen. 3. They will talk about a big check. And that is the problem. You'll get there as many others have done and then they wont get the referals. Then you will have to pay back and be tainted for any serious financial institution.
Go talk to a bank branch manager and the people that are supposed to refer to you they will look like an Arkansas Hillbilly staring at a flushable toilet. What do you mean - refer? Aren't you supposed to build our bank 'bizness'? Then you will realize that Banc of America Investments is to the Banks what Edward Jones Investment is to the wirehouse community; a joke.
If your numbers are worth them looking at then go Indy. If you need it, and you shouldnt if you have been successful and followed your own advice, then get some assist money from someone. The only reason people look at the bank is they are afraid to create their own business and have not learned to get referals and work with other professionals. Sorry but that is the plain truth. Otherwise you wouldnt give up the money in the cut payout that you get.
Oh, by the way, knowing about a dozen BAI guys from Dallas, Denver, KC, St Louis, Phoenix, they will tell you they only stay because they were bought in by M&A and have big books and dont want to move. Otherwise they joke about their own bank. They wait for you to bring the top 25 - 50 clients you have and then they will strip you of them as you go out the door. That is why I never went there, their own employees testimonials.

feng shui's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-24

Congrats, Freeman, for telling it like it is.
 
It does smell like a PR campaign... or just complete ignorance and gullibility on behalf of stockguy.
 
Desperate for FA's is an understatement. The bank channel in general has a whole bunch of skeletons in the closet just awaiting to rise and they are named auction rate...

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

freeman12 wrote:      Go talk to a bank branch manager and the people that are supposed to refer to you they will look like an Arkansas Hillbilly staring at a flushable toilet.
 
 A little ironic, a South Georgia boy laughing at an Arkansas joke. Good one, though!
 
Of course, we also make fun of people in Alabama.

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

No I am not a pr person for the bank.  I read all of these and it seems cut and dry, but I have spoken to a few who are at the bank who say they like it there.  And by the way, the EJ crack makes me laugh.  If I noticed one thing in these "posts" on this forum, it is that EJ gets more bashing than BAC.
Thank you for your help in making me take the offer, what you people say I for sure will do the opposite.  Funny, I guess taking care of billions of peoples hard earned dollars does not make you any smarter or less childish than anyone else.  I could do without all the south cracks and the EJ cracks.
 
 

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

I am open to anyone who can have an intelligent discussion with me to continue but not with all the wise cracks.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Thank you for your help in making me take the offer, what you people say I for sure will do the opposite.  Funny, I guess taking care of billions of peoples hard earned dollars does not make you any smarter or less childish than anyone else.  I could do without all the south cracks and the EJ cracks.
 
 
I am amazed at all the people who ask questions on this board and then when the answer is not to their liking, they get upset.  Simply amazing.  Best of luck to you, even though you were warned.  Hope you are one of the "few" who likes BAC.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Ferris Bueller wrote:Then why do you come here?  No offense, but are you really a broker because you sound slightly retarded.
 
Ferris, I have always appreciated your grasp of understatement.  He sounds completely retarded.

BACFA's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-26

The  Bank of America threads had quieted down for a while. I'm glad to see that it's up again.  Very entertaining ("reality show" and "Arkansas hillbilly").
Stockguy, if you have a small book and not much in fee-base, then BAC could be a good place for you.  But there will some luck involved. Depending on the territory, you may inherit a decent book because there are so few FA's left (especially in the Northeast).  But no matter where you are, DO NOT count on the CM's.  They are horrible 95% of the time.  Generally, in every market, there is one phenomenal FA-CM team but the others are doing nothing.  I've talked to FA's and wholesalers across the country and there is little disagreement about the awful partnerships.  If you are going to BAC strictly to build a book and hopefully take it with you, you may do fine. But it is difficult to hit the metrics to get fully compensated so don't even bother trying.

today1's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

dont get me wrong i have met a few successful recruits that were at BAC, hey i was even one of them.  but the majority of all the other recruits that came over in my opinion just blew up their careers by making the transition to BAC.  you might have had a chance if you were recruited early when the pie was big, but most of the branches have been mined for their top accounts and same thing with any good CM.  they will tell you that they only have 4% penetration, but believe me the other 96% of their clients you wouldnt want to wipe you a$$ with.  think of the gold rush.  those who got in early found large nuggets, the rest just hung themselves after fighting over the scraps.  if you want a credible outside opinion ask the wholesalers what they think.  in most instances i wouldnt say that, but even wholesalers with deep pockets cant overcome the mindless brainwashing and dictatorship that BAC provides.  at bac it is there way of the highway.  i decided to leave instead of being morphed into a broker in a box.  and yes management represents the bank, not brokerage no matter what they tell you.  why else would they tie compensation to note taking.  having to contact a client 8x a year who makes you no revenue, but the bank feels is important, is retarded. hey but if you dont they hold back your fee-based revenue and other commission.  do you think that would ever fly at merrill, morgan, or any other place that believes in the entrepreunerial spirit?  personally i rather spend my time prospecting for new business than having to color coordinate my clients and figuring out how to manipulate a system that doesnt work so i get paid.

snaggletooth's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-13

stockguy wrote:I have a client who has had the same FA from BAC for almost 15 years. 
 
 
You have a customer, not a client.

alwaysbullish's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-16

I've said my 2 cents worth.  I hope you will give serious consideration
to the more reasoned responses you have gotten from here such as mine
and feng shui and BACFA.  There are plenty of other firms out there to
consider if you are bent on making a change.  I would agree that you
will see some success stories but they are few and far between.  Those
that seem the happiest are those that a) have been there so long that
they are entrenched, ie. they prexisted the PB&I model and have
deep books and old connections throughout the bank, and b) those that
have come out of the Pathways channel and don't know any better because
BAI is all they have ever experienced.  If you seriously talk to the
experienced brokers who were recruited from outside, my guess is you
will find the vast majority to say they wish they had never done it.  I
have been in the business a long time and fell for a very smooth
recruiting pitch that made it sound as if it would be impossible not to excel with the model that they have.  Do I have sour grapes?  Yes, but
they are directed at myself for being so stupid.  As I've said, I have
been in the business a long time and everything I had ever heard about
working for a bank brokerage I chose to overlook because of the
recruiting pitch.  It was a very bad mistake on my part.  It is not
because I'm quirky or not a team player, quite the opposite even if I
say so myself.  The odds are you will not get what you think you have
signed up for.Also, just to elaborate on your question about the upfront money.  It is generally a 6 year forgivable loan.  They do not forgive any portion of it just because you achieved a production threshold.  The clock starts again when you receive the back end amounts if you do meet the percentage of trailing 12 production that is specified in your situation.  Each year, as was mentioned before, you trade checks with them.  You write them a check for 1/6 of the upfront amount and receive one back from them for the same amount less taxes.  If you leave at any point prior to the end of 6 years from when the clock started, they will try to get the remaining amount back from you.  Again,  and I mentioned this in one of my previous posts, read the FINRA.org arbitration case synopsys'.  There are 20+ dealing with BAI filing arbitrations to recover the promissory notes.  In almost every case the respondent counterclaimed for Breach of Promise and and Fraudulent Inducement.  Even though BAI prevailed in these cases the fact that the counterclaims are for the same reasons should tell you something.  Please believe it.

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

Thank you allways bullish.  I Like to hear a voice of reason.

stockguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-07

I appreciate all of you who gave honest answers without the sarcasim.  I really am interested in BAC and was looking for some guidence on what to do.  My earlier rant was because this posting board is constantly bombarded with negative comments.  It gets old listening to the same thing over and over again. 

feng shui's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-24

It gets old listening to the same thing over and over again. 
 
The truth hurts, doesn't it?

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