Despite some puzzling management decisions, Prudential Securities is a fine place to work, brokers say.
The firm is “led by young accountant types who … have no concept of what happens when a broker talks to a client,” one producer says. Adds another rep, “It's a top-down organization.”
Brokers feel the demutualization process has been distracting. “The firm is unnecessarily and unduly focused upon going public. It's too shortsighted,” a respondent says. Reps hope the IPO, scheduled for this month, will shift the emphasis.
Those criticisms aside, Prudential does many things well. “There's a good focus on training,” one rep says. “Our technology is outstanding,” adds another producer. “We've had 11 new brokers come in during the past 12 months, and they've been raving about our technology.”
Operations people are helpful, but the back office is sometimes slow and bureaucratic, according to several respondents. Compliance is too strict due to past scandals, but the firm's ethics are now beyond question. Even so, Prudential's image remains scarred: “It takes a long time for reputations to show the result of change,” says one broker.
The impact of the firm's decision to dump investment banking and tailor research for retail isn't clear. “They're trying to make research [a focus], but that doesn't seem to be really working,” observes a rep.
Account fees and the push to dump smaller households also irk brokers. “The firm spends too much time and effort to run off the smaller accounts,” which can grow or refer larger accounts, a producer says.
Meanwhile, reps question the firm's recruiting practices. “They pay too much for brokers,” complains a respondent. This is an especially sore point with loyal veterans.
But a cautious optimism prevails at the firm. “I'm comfortable where I'm at,” says one satisfied broker. “An entrepreneur couldn't find a better place to work.”
|Firm Score||Average: All Firms|
|Freedom from pressure to sell certain products||9.06||9.23|
|Realistic sales quotas||8.36||8.65|
|The firm's hiring and recruiting practices||6.82||7.66|
|Quality of sales assistants||7.82||7.87|
|Quantity of sales assistants||6.46||7.20|
|Quality of sales ideas||6.96||7.82|
|The quote and information system||8.73||8.70|
|Quality of the firm's operations||6.92||7.96|
|Quality of the firm's research||6.92||7.54|
|The firm's fixed-income pricing||6.54||7.77|
|Quality of the products offered||8.04||8.64|
|Your branch manager||8.14||8.31|
|The firm's strategic focus||7.12||8.25|
|Overall ethics of the firm||8.80||9.31|
|The firm's image with the public||7.38||8.54|