Move to Wells Bank from Wire?

4 replies [Last post]
Furious Styles's picture
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Joined: 2009-05-17

I am being recruited to Wells Fargo bank brokerage. I would take over a branch in an affluent suburb of a major metro area. The branch has 4500 customers and $150mm in deposits. They have the same platform as the WFA wirehouse side so I could continue doing mostly fee based asset management and financial planning. There is a regional licensed banker in the branch that is required to refer at least $750k per quarter to me and would be paid 10% payout on any revenue generated in the first year of the new client relationship.

I am currently at a wirehouse with a T-12 $300-$350k and assets north of $30mm. My revenue is 70% fee based and 30% annuities and funds. I have been growing at a steady but slow pace the last few years and would expect that to continue if I stay. They are offering around 100% T-12 upfront with a small potential back end. I did a spreadsheet assigning odds that each client would move and came up with 60% of my book would move with me. Could be more, could be less.

Ultimately the decision comes down to is the upfront money and the potential bank referrals worth the risk of leaving 40% of my clients behind. Or do I continue at the wire making 6 figures and focus on continuing to grow my practice. I have 2 former colleagues there. One left 6 years ago doing $200k and now does $1.2mm. The other failed out of our training program in his first year. Two years later at Wells, he is already doing $250k.

To head off the trolls, yes I am a piker doing $300k in my 8th year of production. Woe is me making 6 figures running my own business while 95% of my training class couldn't make the goals.

What do you see as the pros/cons of making this move?

Bureaucrat's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-09

pro: front/back end check (loan)
con: tied to them for 8-9 years
pro:good platform
con:clients won't understand the fancier products
pro:affluent neighborhood
con:affluent neighborhood
pro:volume
con:low payout
pro:licensed banker
con:sharing revenue

Budd Fox's picture
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Joined: 2011-12-11

I worked at Wells Fargo and Wachovia before that for 10 years. I just left 8 months ago.

The negatives.
- There is no real incentive for bankers to refer, they often do not refer at all, or refer clients that you already have. I know they are supposed to refer to you, however most of the time it doesn't happen. People do not go into banks anymore. Everything is done online or through ATM's. The bankers therefore do not have a great personal relationship with a large part of the customers.
- Wells is a bank. The bank drives the bus. You will be looked to refer to bankers as well. They see you as someone who is touch with wealthy clients and they want a piece as well.
- If you want to build a book of financial planning. It's not happening. You have to deal with all people of all shapes and sizes. If a customer wants a 529 plan, and can only come in at 5pm....you are looked upon to help them. The bankers are graded by volume and customer service. If you say no, they may receive a bad score. That's not a good way to make friends with them.

- affluent area have money, but they also have there FA at a wire. The very wealthy do not go into a bank for investment advice. Some do, but the majority do not. The best area's are high volume "blue collar" area's in my opinion.
- if you think compliance is tough at a wire....wait until you see the compliance at a bank. Oh, and don't get a complaint, they don't protect their guys like a wire.
the Good.
The assets. Instead of looking to the bankers to refer. Pick up the phone and call these people. Keep in mind, the customers that don't already have an account have been called in the past.

the platform is identical to WFA wire.

JohnDoeFA's picture
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Joined: 2012-10-12

The $750K per quarter referrals from private bankers is a joke. They dont even refer junk anymore to pretend to make the quota. Wells branches are fished out. The meager referrals are not worth the pay cut and the shitty back office help. Also, you will end up servicing $1000 529s and other headaches. Sizable referrals are few and far between.

DaveW's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-30

Usually most people go from being a bank FA, and gathering assets there, to a wirehouse and receiving the higher payout on an established book... not the other way around.

I'm currently in a bank and I have to say the extra compliance, and the servicing of the small stuff, is a real pain in the a$$. Furthermore, you really have to ride the bankers to give you referrals, and maintaining that relationship can be stressful, especially if when they refer clients to you they miss out on putting money towards their own goals.

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