Lunch interview/recruiting

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young_gun's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-21

Hi,
I have a pretty lame question, but in this business I learned that you don't get what you don't ask for... so I'll ask anyway:
Can someone share with me how I should position myself in a lunch interview?  I'm a newbie at one wirehouse being recruited/interviewed for lunch with someone from another well known wirehouse.  I've been recruited before by another outfit and found out quickly that being recruited and interviewing is totally different.  When I was recruited I wasn't asked too much about my work ethic and not too deeply about my numbers (since I am only in 1.5 years in production).  It was more like they were selling me about why it would be good to move to their firm.
 
I am currently contemplating leaving my current firm b/c there has been a lot of drastic changes by mgmt locally and is not the best place for me to be.  A contact that I had in the biz passed on my info to a mgr who called me for the interview.  I don't know what to expect and in my experience these types of lunches are usually for big hitters which I am not...YET.  So I don't know how I should approach this lunch b/c I don't think it's a formal interview.  Should I play hard and tell them exactly what I want up front?  Particularly, I wont move if I have to start all over again, I'd rather just join a team if possible or at least have more mgmt support.  Would this hurt their view of me letting them know this from the get go?
 
Please share your thoughts.  Thanks.

Broker24's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

YG,
 
I think you haev much to learn, my friend.  First off, with 1.5 years in the business, you are not in a position to demand anything.  They are interviewing you, not the other way around.  They may give you the professional courtesy of treating you like an equal, but in reality, they are thinking, "wow, we have a new gopher that we can shift our crap accounts to, and only share 20% the first year."
 
Chances are, if you only have 1.5 years (unless you somehow have a huge book), and it's a true wirehouse, you will have to come in as some sort of trainee/newbie/whatever they call it at the firm.  They might even give you the newbie salary and put you on goals.  Again, it will depend on how much they perceive as you being able to bring over.  If you are going to bring over 5-10mm in AUM, chances are you are a newbie in their eyes.  I think you will need to have somewhere more like 20-25mm to at least talk about upfront money.
 
However, I may be way off base.  This is just based on my experience being recruited by a local wirehouse recently.

young_gun's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-21

I reread something I typed which may be taken the wrong away which was, "what I want up front."  That by no means up front check or anything.  I KNOW that they will be looking at me as a new advisor and I am sure they will put me in their training program.  I am just confused on why they would go the lenghths to have lunch with me as they do with people moving large books or have been in the biz for a while. 
Simply, I will only move to another branch if there was an oppurtunity to be perhaps a junior partner or team associate.  That's exactly what I want to do instead of going sole practictioner again and wait for someone to notice my hardwork to invite me.  I know being asked to be on a team isn't somethingt that just happens, but I do see people conduct interviews for them.  I'm not sure how anyone locates a team oppurtunity and this is the only way that I feel I can find one since there are no oppurtunities at my current location.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Couple things:
 
First, you should just put your head down and work through the current managment problems. You are better off staying VS leaving.
 
Second, if I were interviewing you, you with your 1.5 years on the ground, I wouldn't be overly impressed with anyone who said their new goal was to be someone else's second banana. You need to rethink that. I want go getters, not go gophers.
 
Granted, the management problems may be a legitimate reason to leave considering the support that you need at this point in your career. But it sounds like you have other reasons for wanting to move. Bottem line; if your numbers are good you should be able to move. Firms are always looking for prospects. But your short tenure works against you. Any firm who picks you up is going to have to buy out your training contract. That expense will be weighed against your track record. If it's impressive a firm may give you a shot. If it's not keep working and change that. Hang another two or three years and the training contract problem resolves. You are free. And nothing beats being free with a great track record in hand when you meet  BOMs to talk about your future.
 
Lastly, if you are struggling, well welcome to the club. Take inventory and reinvent yourself. Successful people do this all the time. Whatever you are doing that isn't working for you;stop! You know what you have to do, just do it! This business is simple , it's just not easy. The simple part; ask everyone you see or talk to to buy something from you. The hard part; ask everyone you see or talk to to buy something from you. Buy what you ask? Anything! pick something and roll with it.
 

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29
doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

young_gun wrote:
Hi,
I have a pretty lame question, but in this business I learned that you don't get what you don't ask for... so I'll ask anyway:
Can someone share with me how I should position myself in a lunch interview? 
 
Yeah, order the lobster.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Can someone share with me how I should position myself in a lunch interview?

 
Yes.  Don't go.  During the day, you meet with prospects/clients or you fight to meet with prospects/clients.  All other activities take you a step closer to failure or at least to less success.  If they want to meet with you, do it before or after your work day.

xbanker's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-21

I disagree with the point that someone who is new in the business has no pull to get "something upfront." While the chances of getting a sign on are unlikely, the amount of power anyone has in a negotiation has nothing to do with the legitimacy of their points but with the alternative courses of action available to them. I recommend that everyone read a great book on negotiation called "Getting To Yes" which describes the concept of BATNA or "best alternative to a negotiated agreement." Assume two similar candidates who both say they will come over only if aspect X is in place (5k increase in up front money, private office, assistant, whatever...)

Candidate A says the following as his reason for the request.

-I'm a hard worker.
-I have a book of x million.
-I just finished such and such credential.
-I made x, y and z goals at previous firm.

All of these are great points, but now consider Candidate B's response when negotiating for aspect X:

-I'm very interested in coming on board. Firm Y has offered aspect X for me to join their program under similar circumstances. I'd be willing to accept your offer if that particular aspect can be matched.

Reasons are nothing unless backed up by the market. Work on your own BATNA and you'll have much more power in any negotiation.

Morphius's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-21

Sounds good in theory, xbanker.  Problem is it's hard to bluff your way through if your production numbers (verifiable) are too low to possibly attract a competitive offer that needs to be matched.  Recruiters know very well what their competitors are offering a newby with low numbers and a training buyout hanging over their head simply will not attract much if anything in the way of upfront money.  You could try to bluff, but any experienced recruiter would see through that in a heartbeat.But I bet it's a good read, that negotiating book.  just don't get carried away.xbanker wrote:I disagree with the point that someone who is new in the business has no pull to get "something upfront." While the chances of getting a sign on are unlikely, the amount of power anyone has in a negotiation has nothing to do with the legitimacy of their points but with the alternative courses of action available to them. I recommend that everyone read a great book on negotiation called "Getting To Yes" which describes the concept of BATNA or "best alternative to a negotiated agreement." Assume two similar candidates who both say they will come over only if aspect X is in place (5k increase in up front money, private office, assistant, whatever...)

Candidate A says the following as his reason for the request.

-I'm a hard worker.
-I have a book of x million.
-I just finished such and such credential.
-I made x, y and z goals at previous firm.

All of these are great points, but now consider Candidate B's response when negotiating for aspect X:

-I'm very interested in coming on board. Firm Y has offered aspect X for me to join their program under similar circumstances. I'd be willing to accept your offer if that particular aspect can be matched.

Reasons are nothing unless backed up by the market. Work on your own BATNA and you'll have much more power in any negotiation.

xbanker's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-21

I should clarify I'm not recommending that people "bluff" their way through anything, but actually have a good alternative. This might involve doing the same things that would increase the offer elsewhere anyway, although it can also involve simply seeking offers from more than a single source. The concept presumes that one is willing to accept their alternative if negotiations fail, otherwise it has no pull.

dartboard's picture
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Joined: 2008-06-11

Big guy .. stay where you are unless you are  really failing. the folks that want you to move get a free lunch if you do because they do not have to pay training cost and risk you will never bring in business.

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