First Union is aggressively hunting for brokers to join its new independent subsidiary, First Union Securities Financial Network (FUSFN), created after the firm bought Boca Raton, Fla.-based JWGenesis last year. But brokers at First Union Securities need not apply.
First Union spokesperson Tony Mattera says it is “not yet operationally possible” to transfer full-service brokers over to the independent division.
And brokers considering the move think that stinks.
“It's ironic,” says a $500,000 producer in the Midwest who was thinking about a transition. “We own them now, but they can't even talk to us.”
When the rep called the toll-free number advertised on FUSFN's splashy new recruitment ads (which run in RR magazine and other trades), the broker got the cold shoulder.
“I was told that the offer was not available to me, and that they couldn't even send a package,” the rep says.
Mattera says transferring full-service brokers to the new independent subsidiary isn't possible because the firm's back office support staff and technical resources are tied up moving the former JWGenesis brokers over to a single clearing platform. JWGenesis brokers previously cleared through both Fiserv and Bear Stearns.
FUSFN is transferring all of those accounts to First Clearing Corp. When the clearing platform consolidation is finished, probably some time later this year, First Union will reconsider the issue, Mattera says.
“Sounds like a decision made by bankers,” gripes one producer in the Southeast. This rep says the firm is shooting itself in the foot by possibly losing First Union brokers looking for more freedom.