Pru Puts Warning in Writing

Prudential Securities has told brokers on the lowest rung of the ladder they will be fired if they don't improve production and beef up their assets. Prudential, which, like many Wall Street firms, has cut staff in recent months, informed fifth quintilers in a letter that they have about 60 to 90 days to improve. Cuts could come by late September or early October. A Pru spokesman confirmed that warnings

Prudential Securities has told brokers on the lowest rung of the ladder they will be fired if they don't improve production and beef up their assets. Prudential, which, like many Wall Street firms, has cut staff in recent months, informed fifth quintilers in a letter that they have about 60 to 90 days to improve. Cuts could come by late September or early October.

A Pru spokesman confirmed that warnings were given to bottom-tier producers. If improvement doesn't match Prudential's expectations, he says, “they would be asked to leave.” Reviews are being handled on a case-by-case basis, and he says help is being provided to those who need to boost their numbers. It's not a blanket shedding of all lower-tier brokers, he says.

Reps are bitter. “They brought over a large number of brokers, and now they're pulling the rug out from under us,” says one rep who is on the chopping block. He says the letter was termed a “final warning” although it's the only warning he received.

A copy of a letter obtained by Registered Rep. states that the broker in question isn't covering his overhead cost, and therefore must increase assets and revenue to continue at the firm. He must “be at the branch at minimum during market hours” and attend all sales meetings.

Another broker says his own business plan, which he was asked to develop at the beginning of the year, is being used as the yardstick to measure his progress. A more conservative estimate, tied to that plan, will determine whether he stays or not. “It's surprising,” he adds, “because the plan was supposed to be a motivating tool.”

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