Trouble in Paradise.......Alan Skrainka fired from Jones

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Grosspayout's picture
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Oh Oh. Alan Skrainka was fired today from Edward Jones because he didn't give proper attribution in his written communications. Something doesn't feel right. What's the real story?

northpointadvisor's picture
Joined: 2010-05-21

skrainka probably didn't agree with weddle....so skrainka was let go

Grosspayout's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-02

north.....I think you're onto something. Alan's reports were always heavily footnoted with attribution. In typical Jones nature, when someone leaves they have to throw mud on them.

FA86's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-21

Highly doubt it was a disagreement with Weddle. Skrainka probably just started getting careless.

Fooled No More's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-14

Well, I would guess he must have to upset somebody because you don't typically fire the head of your reserach!  If they want you out they find something to send you packing.  Jones is going all Advisory so who needs a guy who has been following 50 stocks for 10 years.  It is really hard to makes calls like HD,HOG,GE,MO,T and then buy/hold for 10 years (Oh yeah AIG at $2 bucks was still a buy---Humm good call EDJ).  I think you could get those ideas from CNBC. I met him a couple of times during my years. I think he is a really  nice/ bright guy who never could give "timely" advise because of the jones model. He might be very good at what he does but never has been able to show it.   I told a former Jones guy to get me his resume and I would send it to LPL becuase we are always looking to add talent......(and to stick it too jones!)..  I heard throught the grape vine Kate Warren is taking over---WOW. She missed the huge oil run up a couple of years ago!!!!!!! I would have my concerns about that!! 

Grosspayout's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-02

Fooled.....Lots of good points. AIG at $2? How about the good old days with a hold on LU from $80 to $5? Jones is not better off with Kate in charge.

Remo Gaggi's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-22

Didn't he try to quit twice before?

B24's picture
B24
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Something is definitely up with this.  Just the fact that Weddle STATED to the firm WHY Skrainka was fired seems odd.  Typically, a firm will send out the standard "left to pursue other opportunities, spend more time with family, etc....".  But the fact that Weddle STATED that he was fired for lack of editorial attribution seems odd.  If it is 100% accurate, the only thing I can think of is that Skrainka did do this, and whoever he failed to atribute to got their panties in a wad, and Weddle's hand was forced for some reason.  Not sure if FINRA or the SEC has jurisdiction over editorial attribution (or only the validity and compliance of the content itself), but I would think this must have been a bigger deal than it seems.  Skrainka is a long-time GP.  I would think if it was minor, he would get a slap on the wrist, and Jones would make it go away.Strange.  Very Strange.

hobo duke's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-22

Alan was a dim light bulb.  The only illumination he provided was off his shiny dome.

spamfilter's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-22

If you need any other proof that this firm is changing...........

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

Just to correct some inaccuracies - Kate Warne is stepping into Alan's spot on an interim basis.  My personal guess is that Scott Thoma, who writes a ton of Alan-ish types of articles and everything for Advisory Solutions, will take his place.  Like I said, that's my personal guess.    Jones is, at some point in the "near" future, going to offer a UMA fee based account.  Which means that stocks can be utilized inside that platform.  Research keeps it's importance in a situation like that.I don't think anyone needed any additional proof that the firm is changing.  For the better.  I've personally heard Alan say that he was a fan of Advisory Solutions, so I don't think that it would have been a disagreement with management over the direction of the firm if he believed that's where the firm was heading.  We'll probably never know the real story behind what Alan did.  It will be interesting to see who takes his place long term.   

noggin's picture
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Spaceman Spiff wrote:Just to correct some inaccuracies - Kate Warne is stepping into Alan's spot on an interim basis.  My personal guess is that Scott Thoma, who writes a ton of Alan-ish types of articles and everything for Advisory Solutions, will take his place.  Like I said, that's my personal guess.    Jones is, at some point in the "near" future, going to offer a UMA fee based account.  Which means that stocks can be utilized inside that platform.  Research keeps it's importance in a situation like that.I don't think anyone needed any additional proof that the firm is changing.  For the better.  I've personally heard Alan say that he was a fan of Advisory Solutions, so I don't think that it would have been a disagreement with management over the direction of the firm if he believed that's where the firm was heading.  We'll probably never know the real story behind what Alan did.  It will be interesting to see who takes his place long term.     We had an interesting little discussion where I said that EDJ wasn't transparent you said they were.....

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

C'mon Nog.  It isn't appropriate for ANY firm to give explicit details about why someone was fired.  I wouldn't even expect a firm to do that.  That has nothing to do with a "lack of transparency."

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

Transparency from my firm doesn't need to, and shouldn't, include the reasons people are terminated.  Those are HR issues that are between that employee and the company.   

Magician's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-19

Actually, I'm shocked that they released anything.  The public nature of his termination gives him grounds for suit.  Having dealt with employment law in a previous career, that matter should have been kept private.  The reputational damage alone for someone with Skrainka's earning potential could result in a nice pay day for him.

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B24
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My GUESS is that whoever he "borrowed" material from made a big deal about it, and part of the "agreement" was his termination and public acknowledgement that it happened.  Jones is a big firm....they would not make that sort of announcement without some REALLY good reasons.  I am sure Skrainka probably signed off on it in return for....not getting sued, Jones not being dragged through the mud, whatever.

American Flag's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-03

Here is an Investment News article.

navet's picture
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Joined: 2010-02-25

Alan tried to quit years ago, but Backman would only dribble out his GP money until the last year. Sounds like a big blowup in the home office.

spamfilter's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-22

I don't really think that anyone with Jones believes that he was fired for the stated reasons.  Knowing how the "Jones Machine" works he got the wrong person mad at him and they went "looking".

Grosspayout's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-02

I think spam is onto something. They fire Skrainka but Doug Hill gets to hang around? Doesn't make sense. Maybe, just maybe, we are starting to see the wheels beging to come off. First Weddle sells Jones-UK. Then he raises production minimums in a deep recession claiming that 'Ted would have done it sooner'. Then Skrainka gets fired for reasons that have zero ring of truth. All this points to is the vapid leadership at the top of the firm.

Remo Gaggi's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-22

Pump your brakes.  If they offer the reason, it is usually the reason.  AND, if they disclose it publicly, that means that it was a "don't do it again" offense that they needed to disclose.  I KNOW it was a shock to most of the GP's that are not in the inner circle.  As far as the standards going up, they would have gone up in 2008 had the world not melted.  Face it, EDJ needs to cut about 2,000 FA's, but they can't.  So, they need to raise the standards and let them bleed out.  Face it, if you are ALONE in an office, how hard to you really work if you are not the most motivated person in the world.  Hill is around because it was part of the settlement with the SEC.  

B24's picture
B24
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Grosspayout wrote:I think spam is onto something. They fire Skrainka but Doug Hill gets to hang around? Doesn't make sense. Maybe, just maybe, we are starting to see the wheels beging to come off. First Weddle sells Jones-UK. Then he raises production minimums in a deep recession claiming that 'Ted would have done it sooner'. Then Skrainka gets fired for reasons that have zero ring of truth. All this points to is the vapid leadership at the top of the firm. Actually, I think your 180 degrees off.  I think they are just getting started.  And I think you are over-analyzing things.  Maybe they are just doing a lot of things that were well over-due.  I am not a kool-aide drinker, but I definitely admire the work that Weddle has done.

FA86's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-21

Jones is fastidious about releasing folks. If they splash it on the homepage that Skrainka got canned for plagiarism, Skrainka got canned for plagiarism.

Funky1's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-24

Grosspayout,You made four points:1) "They sold UK operation." It was costing them $5 mill per month. Doesn't it make sense to sell a unit for a $70 mill. cost that will be recouped in 12 mos? How much money would you be willing to invest for a 100% return in 12 mos? Seems pretty smart to me.2) "They raise production minimums during a severe recession." Those FAs are losing them money. How many unprofitable reps. do you have working for you?3) "Skrainka gets fired for reasons thatt have zero ring of truth." Yes, they publicly fire one of their top partners and state the reason, which you imply is a lie. Do you think there might be someone at the firm that would object to that and bring out the real truth or that there would be any liability for doing what you imply?4) Then you call management vapid. If you can't get over your bitterness for your failure while at Jones, at least make cogent comments about them.

FA86's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-21

Funky, Jones didn't make a dime off the UK sale. Unless of course I missed something.

Funky1's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-24

FA86,Please re-read my post.  I said they sold it for s $70 mill COST (read expense or charge) which will be covered by what they are not losing each month by continuing operations there and incurring additional operating losses. If they paid the Brits $70 mill to take an operation off their hands that was costing them a $5 mill. per month loss and not have that ongoing loss, they will have recouped it in about a year. Would you pay $70 grand to get out from under an expense that was going to cost you $5 grand a month forever?  

FA86's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-21

Funky,My mistake, I didn't read your post well enough. Anyway, I agree with you. Selling the bleeding operation was a fantastic idea.

spamfilter's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-22

Remo Gaggi wrote:Pump your brakes.  If they offer the reason, it is usually the reason.  Lets take a drive to realityville!  How about this for a reason.  "we are increasing FA performance standards so that our clients will receive a higher level of service excellence".  Sorry, but my bullshlt meter is pegged out!

spamfilter's picture
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Remo Gaggi wrote:Pump your brakes.  If they offer the reason, it is usually the reason.  Lets take a drive to realityville!  How about this for a reason.  "we are increasing FA performance standards so that our clients will receive a higher level of service excellence".  Sorry, but my bullshlt meter is pegged out!

American Flag's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-03

This article on the affair in the St Louis Post Dispatch makes the intresting point that accusations of plagiarism are not uncommon in the field of investment research.

Funky1's picture
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Spamfilter, you wrote, " How about this for a reason.  "we are increasing FA performance standards so that our clients will receive a higher level of service excellence".  Sorry, but my bullshlt meter is pegged out!"Would you want to be aclient of a broker whose business was so poor, and had so few clients that they were not able to run a profitable office?

navet's picture
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Joined: 2010-02-25

Maybe AS was doin' some GP's old lady? Just askin'

compliancejerk's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-03

Had to be a BIG problem!  Now FINRA must investigate the circumstances, procedures AND oversight of the entire department.......that should cause a few more heads to roll.Wonder what Skrainka's U5 will read like.

compliancejerk's picture
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HOWEVER as of a few minutes ago, the individual in question is STILL listed with FINRA as still being employed by said firm.

Remo Gaggi's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-22

Seriously!  If they wrote that they were increasing standards for clients and "OH, yeah...in doing so, we can retain our better FA's who might be leaving in droves soon due to the fact their bonuses are shit because of these slackasses AND we might be able to plug some young, eager, go getter into their office who will actually work 40 hours a week and service his clients"...I don't imagine you would have any trouble with that, would you?

spamfilter's picture
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Remo Gaggi wrote:Seriously!  If they wrote that they were increasing standards for clients and "OH, yeah...in doing so, we can retain our better FA's who might be leaving in droves soon due to the fact their bonuses are shit because of these slackasses AND we might be able to plug some young, eager, go getter into their office who will actually work 40 hours a week and service his clients"...I don't imagine you would have any trouble with that, would you?In stating such a fact I would at least know that they were being truthful!

TroublewTribbles's picture
Joined: 2010-05-26

I have been saying for years that  Alan Skrainka hasn't stated an original thought.  But, I had no idea his redundant blatherings were actually someone elses!

Remo Gaggi's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-22

Spam...are you serious?  We work in an industry that, in case you missed it, leaves MUCH to be read between the lines.

spamfilter's picture
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Remo Gaggi wrote:Spam...are you serious?  We work in an industry that, in case you missed it, leaves MUCH to be read between the lines. Agreed.  My issue is that this firm has too many people who think like this.Remo Gaggi wrote:Pump your brakes.  If they offer the reason, it is usually the reason.   

compliancejerk's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-03

A week has passed since this item hit the press...... how far back did the internal investigation go to when Alan was an intern????Finra still has him registered @ ej and yes I know they have 30 days to submit the U5.  Whenever ej submits the U5 it should make for interesting reading.....and then later when Finra (and NYSE et al) publish THEIR findings that will be even more interesting.

B24's picture
B24
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xej1984's picture
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This just in, Skrainka is STILL registered with ej as per Finra broker check ?????? 

Remo Gaggi's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-22

call that legal time, he has to unwind his GP before he can be disconnected...

edjbrkr's picture
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I am an FA at Edward Jones.  I believe, as with everything, that there are two sides to this story.Alan has always been a person that spoke his mind (in private setings), even if it wasn't in concert with the company line.  Additionally, it is my opinion that the culture at EDJ has been changing to more of a "big corporate culture" environment.  Whether or not that change is for the better is a matter of opinion, and subject to one's interpretation.I have always enjoyed and appreciated Alan; and am sorry to see him go.  That being said, my belief is this:Alan butted heads with enough of the right people to cause them to want him out.  His failure to properly document sources (whether intended deceit, or sloppiness) gave them the reason they were looking for.

xej1984's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

what it really comes down to is that EJ is no better or worse than any other firm, regardless of what the leaders in "Jonestown" claim.   I recall a few years ago the firm in question took out a full page ad in the WSJ proclaiming that they're was the best firm for clients as they were oh so compliance oriented....... If you fire your head analyst for NOT attributing properly Finra, NYSE and of course SEC is going to be interested in what other things are allowed to "slide" by.

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

Looks like Skrainka resurfaced and registered an LPL branch under the DBA "Cornerstone Wealth Management".

American Flag's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-03

Alan did some excellent work at Jones. While I got tired of the cheerleading aspect of Jones' "Research,"  there's no question Alan put out some excellent presentations and ideas. There were several presentations he did that I thought were innovative and superb.How interesting that Alan, formerly a top EJ GP and apparatchik, is now also going "Independent"  - as so many of us former Jones people have done. I wish him, and all of us, the best.

hedgemybets's picture
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I wouldn't listen to a guy that liked financials in early Sept of 08 after watching Bear Stearns evaporate to $2 a share. 

ClarenceBeeks's picture
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Joined: 2011-07-26

Love how fa's get on here and defend their firm so staunchly... have you ever thought about would your firm defend you so emphatically too? 

Independent Christ Follower's picture
Joined: 2014-01-23

Check out Alan Skrainka's statement on his FINRA Broker Check report: "I was shown a report that was more than a year old that contained information related to the monthly employment report. I was told that it was not properly attributed to Bloomberg News. I felt the information was factual in nature and that sourcing the Labor Department was sufficient. No products were mentioned. No penalties or fines were levied. No lawsuits filed and no outside organization complained about my work. This occurred five months after I was asked to retire early". I'm a former Edward Jones guy who LOVED the firm and drank the Kool-Aid. Luckily, I got over it and was able to leave on my own terms. It looks to me like Edward Jones did what Edward Jones does, which is whatever they want. Clearly Skrainka was caught on the wrong side of the argument (most likely with Weddle). I no longer trust Edward Jones or Jim Weddle. Alan Skrainka is FAR better off now.

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