What is the skinny @ Wells Fargo Advisors?

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Buster's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-27

I have jumped through the hoops @ WFA, had 3 interviews taken the pre test exam( passed) and now we are getting down the real negotiations. What is really going on behind the fluff talk they are giving me. What can I expect as an offer in the form of salary, bonus, deferred comp etc.

Background: Was an FA for 6 years until my bank was shut by the FDIC so I have some experience but will need to retake my securities exams since they have lapsed. No marks on my U4 but I want a real inside picture of the truth. What is the non compete like? Who owns the clients, can you sell your clients when you are ready to retire? Can you form teams? What don't you like about WFA? Are they making you push credit cards, mortgages etc
Anything else you want to add would help me get an idea of what I am getting into would be greatly appreciated. If I had the funds to go straight indie I would but that is not an option right now. BTW, I am in Houston Tx.

Buster's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-27

I need specifics please.

DaveW's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-30

I've heard that some people have issues with the minimum monthly goals, especially in the beginning, and that falling behind for just one month really hurts because your draw will take it out of your surplus the next month... but if you get a good banking center / territory, and you make it in the beginning and develop a good annuitized book of business, you can do really well in the long run.

Being a bank FA brings with it its own hurdles, though, and if you don't like being in a retail bank and can't really bond well with the personal bankers and the banking managers there then it isn't for you..

Buster's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-27

Thanks for the info Dave but I am not going to be in a Wells Fargo bank branch. I am interviewing with Wells Fargo Advisors, basically a combination of the mergers with Wachovia and AG Edwards over the years. It's a non bank affiliate of Wells Fargo, the bank.

Tdude10's picture
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Joined: 2013-07-08

AGE at merger had 6700 fa's. May of 2007
Today approx 1700 plus remain at WFA. 5000 have left.
Some left industry in the 08 meltdown. Most of the rest are at stifel, rayjay or Bfec(Edwards new shop). So much for the mega bank culture.

Me Is JJ's picture
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Joined: 2012-09-26

I came into WFA with a 10-year background in big bank mortgage, and after spending 6 months in training at ML. Missed my 66 by a point at ML and came here, and wish I would've started here. I'm in a small boutique branch in an affluent area and only one senior FA is legacy AGE... all the others came over in the last 3-4-5 years with big books from ML or MSSB and are happy they did it. I'll try to answer your questions -

What is the non compete like? - Just like everywhere else.
Who owns the clients - Just like everywhere else... The bank says they do, but John Stumpf doesn't call them, remember their anniversaries or favorite wine, you do.
Can you sell your clients when you are ready to retire? - Just like anywhere else.
Can you form teams? - Just like anywhere else, but keep in mind that if you're not walking into a team, like anywhere else you have to prove yourself to get asked onto one... not easy. If you have the opportunity to start on one, all the better.
Are they making you push credit cards, mortgages etc - No. Like any of the other wirehouses where there's some crossover the info is there and you certainly get incentivized IF you sell a mortgage and encouraged for including talk of those items in your client approach, but why wouldn't you talk about mortgages with a client anyway? You're an ADVISOR.
Salary/Bonus/Deferred Comp - Initial year is usually approx. $50K. You get 3-4 months for licensing, then a 2-3 month period called the "Sprint to 24" where you have to bring in a minimum of 24 new accounts (that's individual accounts, not households) of at least $5K each, at the end of which you either hit the minimum or you're out. Exceed 24 and you get a small bonus. Big Advice - Especially if you've been an FA before or have ANYONE who's willing to work with you - spend any off hours energy you have teeing up those folks beforehand.

After that, you still get your "salary" for the rremainder of the year, but if you don't make certain goals it starts diminishing and then drops off. But listen, hurdles are hurdles and this is the big kid pool

It WAS originally AGE, so no Wall Street stink and mid-western mentality. Training program is pretty darned good, better than ML's. Don't be a pollyanna though - Once the checkered flag goes you'd better be ready to race. Hurdles are hurdles and everybody has them, right? From what I can see, once you're in production the comp is a little easier to figure out than ML's, for what that's worth. Also from what I can see the deferred comp and bonus incentives for following best practices benchmarks or bringing in NN Households or doing a mortgage are strong.

Keep in mind that a lot of your day to day support is your manager and who's around you. I will say that their systems are pretty good, their planning tool (Envision) is robust and better than you'll see at most of the competition, and their systems/sales/ops support is top notch - people are nice, courteous, helpful, KNOWLEDGABLE and will spend the time with you to help.

If you're going wirehouse, I think that this is a great place to be. Just make sure that you hit the ground running - plan out your attack weeks before production day 1 and do not slow down, and again, don't wait until Day 1 to hit all those familiars - tee 'em up way in advance.

Good luck.

Tapehound's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-11

How's Wells Fargo going? What was the pre exam test like for the interview process? I'm currently a futures broker and have had 2 meetings with the branch manager. He said he wants me to have a formal interview now and needs to ask me some questions for a standard interview. I'm wondering what that would consist of? I've had the role playing phone interview...any incite would be appreciated, also how biz? Doing decent?

Steelhead fisherman's picture
Joined: 2013-09-23

been here for about 13 years. happy but i've had to fight for everything i've earned. 500M is the magic number for production. thats the level that unlocks decent deferred comp, a small expense acct, and the payout w/ profit sharing contrib. is pretty darn good. support is great. we just got a new ceo of the brokerage side, ands she's a banker, so i'm sure she put the squeeze on us tighter than ludeman. he was classy. a great voice for us brokers. that era, is over.

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