Stifel

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cobra's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-22

Just talked to a SF.  Got a real surpise on recruiting package.  On 400K T12, package would be 60%.  Is that the first round of negotiation or is that what packages have dropped to?  I sure didn't expect a 200%+ package, but I thought at least 90-100% for a regional.

OldLady's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-19

It's all about supply and demand - there are a heck of a lot of shell-shocked brokers walking around wanting to get out of where they are.  Then add in a bad market, where unhappy clients may not follow you as readily as when everything was roses... 

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

Not shocking although if they told me that I would have been like 'reallly?'. This probably doesn't bode well for WS reps getting some sort of big deal from whoever the heck buys us. Funny, Wells is the only one to make a move for WS.

gbend's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-29

Was 60% all they offered?  Was that just the cash portion?  I have found that with WS brokers who were ex AGE they have recieved that upfront and then there is a stock and bonus portion for a certain amount of time after.  Depending on you and the market it could be more than 100 or less.
 
I left WS/AGE recently for Stifel and the transition is great.  Not a great market to do it, but I have found very little resistance in clients wanting out of Wachovia.

cobra's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-22

I wonder if it would make a difference if it was an entire office of brokers moving instead of just one?  Maybe they were just low balling.  This was the first meeting.

Mucho de Tejas's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-08

If you are selling your house now do you expect to get the prices paid at the top, too?
 
They are in the catbird seat and the days of big recruiting deals are done. Take something now because the trend is now down and heading lower.

rocky's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-17

the big 3 firms are still over 100% depending on your lOS and gross.....

Morphius's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-21

rocky wrote:the big 3 firms are still over 100% depending on your lOS and gross.....Just curious - what ARE the "big 3 firms" nowadays?  And is being "big" a positive now?  Why?

rocky's picture
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Morphius wrote:
rocky wrote:the big 3 firms are still over 100% depending on your lOS and gross.....Just curious - what ARE the "big 3 firms" nowadays?  And is being "big" a positive now?  Why?

Not sure if being big is positive, but the big three are based mostly on FA count...
ML, Wachovia and SB are who I am talking about and the deals are still there.

B24's picture
B24
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Joined: 2008-07-08

I would think Morgan Stanley is in that mix.

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

I get the feeling that the good ol days of big transition packages are gone. Too many brokers (and firms) realizing that brokers want to move and that revenues are going down for a while.

burtonfinancial1's picture
Joined: 2008-09-30

Stifel and other smaller 'regional' firms have been 60, 70% up all year, despite record setting deals happening at other firms.  Big deals with major wirehouse players are still huge. 120% upfront and higher. Add back end bogies and they're well over 200% if you hit. This has to decline. Here's the rub. Deals will come in some AND gross is dropping off highs for many of us if not most. The combo means real $'s are going to be less in the future imho. How many AGE guys have hung in all year after taking a relatively small retention package earlier just to see what the grid and other final changes look like in early 09'?

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

I am one (I PM'd you by the way).  I got 40% from WS last year so 60-70% off a higher number now seems somewhat appealing.

pussman's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-02

Go indy and get 80 to 90% payout for as long as you stay in the business and then you will never have to worry about changing firms and up front deals.

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

that is a valid point, the upfront deals tend to get more merit than they deserve.

FVDA_Trade-PMR's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-24

Are the wirefirms still offering stock incentives or is it mainly cash bonuses instead?  I've read several reports some Advisors aren't too thrilled with taking stock in lieu of cash due to the market and the decline of the stock price in general at some wirefirms?  Has this affected anyone on this board? 

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

Imagne if WB gave us six figures of their stock when it was over 50 and today around 4. Ugh! Sounds like Stifel is cash with stock bonuses.

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

Apprently we misspelled "Stiefel". That aside, I am still looking at them as a good AG Edwards alternative.  Assuming there is not an office in my town (there is not), what are the additional headaches that I'll have to deal with? I am thinking:
 
1. Finding office space
2. Finding an assistant
3. ???

Gordon Gekko's picture
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Morphius's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-21

Gordon Gekko wrote:Apprently we misspelled "Stiefel". That aside, I am still looking at them as a good AG Edwards alternative.  Assuming there is not an office in my town (there is not), what are the additional headaches that I'll have to deal with? I am thinking:
 
1. Finding office space
2. Finding an assistant
3. ???I don't get it Gordo.  If you need to do all the heavy lifting of opening a new office, why not just open a new firm - yours?

rocky's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-17

Gordon Gekko wrote:http://www.onwallstreet.com/attachment-cache/iag/pdf/ows/payoutgrids/2008/OWS_BB.pdf
 
Be careful on these grid comparisions.  They usually are missing some good and bad for each firm.  If you really want to compare, get the compensation report from each firm.
Some firms have contests that pay in the form of bonuses that may not be listed on this, say for growth of your business.

bancofamigo's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-05

Smith Barney is (I heard) either on or about to be on a hiring freeze. They are also closing some offices. UBS is still dong upfront cash deals with stock on the back-end. As someone said earlier, higher gross and LOS gets higher payout. I think these deals are about to go away. Ken Lewis said on 60 Minutes tonight that he thinks investment people are paid way too much.

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

How about overpaid CEO's? Within the past few years Ken Lewis made 90 million in annual comp. Hey kettle, you are black says the pot!

Provocative Put's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-14

Gordon Gekko wrote:How about overpaid CEO's? Within the past few
years Ken Lewis made 90 million in annual comp. Hey kettle, you are
black says the pot!

Mr. Lewis has a lot less potential now that the bank is deeply involved with Barney Frank.

Nonetheless, in the past he has been paid what the board's compensation committee thought he was worth.

Rank has its privilege, and (apparently) Mr. Lewis intends to bring crazy compensation ideas down to earth.

Within a year or two the industry will look nothing like it does
now.  I just hope they fire anybody who does not have at least a
BA and mandate a CFP or other such designation.

Professions have standards.

I would like to see FINRA or some other organization spend millions of
dollars on investor education---including informing them that the
person who is their advisor has not yet met any standards.

SuperRecruiter's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-22

cobra wrote:I wonder if it would make a difference if it was an entire office of brokers moving instead of just one?  Maybe they were just low balling.  This was the first meeting.I hate to say it but this is why you use a recruiter. Sorry, but 60% is not a low ball offer. I would seriously doubt that they will offer any more.Stifel DOES NOT pay as much as MS/WF/MS etc. They are a super regional and generally, the reason fa's switch to Stifel is a combination of their culture, amount of available capital and access to some of the best analysts in the field.

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

they just did a secondary recently (in this market!) and raised a bunch of cash, apparently to go after disgruntled fcs at other firms. Have you seen how that stock has done this year? Amazing!

Gordon Gekko's picture
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rocky's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-17

what is a 600K guy getting offered right now by Stifel?

ynoti's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-27

Be very careful with the Stifel's of the world.........They may not last too much longer and you'll be right back in the same place that you are now.  SF's senior management is very good but its mid-level branch and regional managers, especially on the east coast are young and unprofessional.  Deal only with St. Louis, get everything in writing, and have them spell out for you what happens in the event that they are taken over.  Recently one of their hires got language written into his contract that lets him walk away (with his money) if SF is taken over.

2wheeledbeemer's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-10

ynoti wrote:Be very careful with the Stifel's of the world.........They may not last too much longer and you'll be right back in the same place that you are now.  SF's senior management is very good but its mid-level branch and regional managers, especially on the east coast are young and unprofessional.  Deal only with St. Louis, get everything in writing, and have them spell out for you what happens in the event that they are taken over.  Recently one of their hires got language written into his contract that lets him walk away (with his money) if SF is taken over.
 
That's impressive.  Tried to get that with RJ, but that was one point they were not responsive toward.  Trying not to worry about it, what with the James family and all of us contented chillen's happily sitting on a large chunk of the stock.  Wait, wasn't that what it was like at AGE...? 

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

That is one big threat with SF. Doth protest too much when the idea of getting bought out is brought up. At some point, they will get snagged.

rocky's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-17

I think the firm seems like the right fit for guys from regionals...

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

The other thing to consider is the payout. I would think at that level SF would have someone in the high 40's.

shredder's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-04

Guess what boys and girls???  I know that SF has had the "Bagby Clause" in their deals...SF gets bought out, you are a free agent, but I have heard that with all the interest they are getting, that they are inclined to drop that clause.  All that tells me is that they are eventually in play also.  Someone said that the BOM they were talking to said: "move once, get pd twice".... 

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

I've heard that line too. A week ago it seemed appealing to open an office in my town. Today, I am totally turned off. Too  much growth too quick. Shorting SF stock might be the better play.

mnbondguy's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-13

Firms like Stifel grow in markets like these, when the markets were good, the big firms threw around a lot of cash, and smaller regionals had a harder time competing for brokers.  I think a lot of people who took checks, now realize the importance of culture.   
The "universal bank model", like most one-sided relationships is a complete failure and Wachovia has proven that.  Stifel could not compete against AGE, but thanks to Bagby and Ludeman, Stifel is getting a huge windfall.  I know SF has hired a lot of the legacy AGE nvestment bankers from WS, any guess as to how many AGE brokers they have hired?  I bet SF will double in size in the next 5 years.  I can't imagine after the AGE train wreck that SF would sell out to a bank,  no way. 

Kendall's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-03

(Been reading this forum for quite awhile but never posted before...)
Legacy AGE rep with about 20+ years who recently made the move to Stifel with about a half-dozen others.  It's been quite seamless without any major headaches so far.  Very few clients, if any, have even questioned the reason for us moving.  A fair amount called and dropped ACAT packets off at the branch before they were even personslly contacted and late afternoon/evening appointments are very easy to come by.  People are eager to move their accounts and the down market hasn't been a big deterrent at all.  That was our biggest fear and it hasn't even been an issue so far.  It also feels good to leave the few problem clients behind and frees up more time to work with the A-list clients.
SF has good name recognition in our area and they have very helpful corp management and back office support (just like AGE help was).  The technology is quite good, beta is still there, but we kind of miss BrokerVision and the old AGEnet.  You can have remote access, the brand new Digital dashboard is very flexible and the whole sytem runs much, much quicker than previously.  One can sign on/off in seconds instead of minutes.  Also, no more wires in your mailbox, just tons of emails, so that is different too.
 
The transition packages were good with the average being 75% of T-12 and a nice amount of SF common that vests in 10 yrs.  Some FCs took more back-end with more SF common and less up-front money, but there is some flexibility for someone with decent numbers.
(None of us were above $750K either).  (There is also a "Bagby clause" and that brings great comfort).  Have been reassured no intention of selling, and hopefully 50+% employee ownership lessens those odds. 
 
Have also heard there are somewhere around 250/300 legacy AGE FCs who moved to SF, but no concrete proof except for all of those who stood up at the SF regional in St Louis recently and were introduced en masse.  Growth hasn't caused any problems yet at SF, and we have been told the system can handle a couple thousand more.  Payouts are good, charges are low and we can run our business anyway we want.  (Kind of like before).  
 
We all wanted to work for AGE until we retired but the sale and WB/WS missteps changed those plans.  WFC might be able to fix things and get everything back on track, or they could trim the ranks below a certain level or even unload the whole brokerage department -- but we won't have to experience that first-hand anymore.  It was a really hard decision to walk away from an established known and start over somewhere else, but looking back we don't know why the wait was so long.  Good luck to everyone back at the old AGE, you really deserve it and we hope things get better for you if you decide to stay.

conage's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-15

Good post Kendall!

2wheeledbeemer's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-10

Great post, Kendall.  That reinforces what we had heard/thought about SF, but they just didn't have any mojo in our market, and name recog. was low.  Good for you and yours, and continued success.

Gordon Gekko's picture
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Krapinsky's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-07

Talked to SF last week.  They are sure a lot more interested than RJ.  SF is ready to take our group right now and make the transition ASAP!  RJ has an interest, but seem disorganized and not committed.  Maybe they have too much on their plate or are just getting too big too fast and starting to behave more like a wirehouse.

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

they were great with me too on the first call. After that, it went nowhere. If you have a ton a guys to move, they will give you more love than they showed me. I wrote them off several weeks ago due to lack of response.

Krapinsky's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-07

Really?  That is interesting.  Did you go on the due diligence trip to St. Louis?

Gordon Gekko's picture
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Never got the call back and I never chased them.  Not enough fcs to build out an office I would guess. Certain firms seemed more accomodating and SF was not one of them. That was just my experience.

Krapinsky's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-07

I see.  In my situation we have an office of six FAs and two licensed sales assistants in area where there is no SF office around for over 150 miles.  That may be why they are accommodating us since we are talking about an entire office.

Kendall's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-03
WSxAG's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-23

Has anyone noticed that SF is up nearly 35% YTD?

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