Wachovia Securities Financial Network
One North Jefferson; St Louis, MO 63103
Number of Back-Office Employees*: 7,000
Number of Advisors: 591
Total Client Assets Under Management: $29 billion
Advisors' Average Length of Service (in industry): 16.8 years
Total Revenue Year to Date**: $334.3 million
Revenue from Commissions: $133.9 million
Revenue from Fees: $200.3 million
Average AUM per Rep: $49.1 million
Average Payout per Rep: 87.9%
Average Production per Rep: $565,583
Number of Dually Registered Reps: 414
* for Wachovia Securities in its entirety, not just for Wachovia Securities Financial Network
Registered Rep.: Why would a wirehouse rep want to leave his firm to join yours?
John Peluso: We have the “best of both worlds” — comprehensive, full-service support, coupled with control and freedom.
RR: Other than your own, of course, which other independent broker/dealers are you impressed with and why?
JP: Raymond James and LPL. We compete daily and I admire their spirit and professionalism.
RR: Least favorite compliance rule?
JP: That each office location has a time clock synchronized twice a day to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Atomic Clock.
RR: Are your affiliated advisors fee-based or mostly commission/transaction advisors?
JP: 44 percent of our business is generated from fee-based advisory services. Total recurring revenues exceed 62 percent.
RR: How many of your reps are dually registered? Is that number growing or not?
JP: About 70 percent, the same as the firm as a whole.
RR: The most expensive aspect of running your independent broker/dealer firm in 2007?
JP: Human capital.
RR: Your recruiting goals through 2008 and beyond?
JP: To continue to attract quality, experienced financial advisors.
RR: What are you thoughts on upfront bonuses?
JP: Loans are critical parts of our disciplined strategy of empowering experienced advisors to become successful business owners.
RR: The ideal advisor is? (Three words or less.)
JP: Willing, able and capable.
RR: Biggest challenge in 2008 for the independent channel and your firm?
JP: We are a growth business so advisor inertia poses challenges. Our approach is to ask experienced financial advisors, “Why wait?”
RR: The best technology investment your firm has made?
JP: The top investment would be SmartStation, our FA workstation that includes uniform workflow, service requests and our investment-planning tool, Envision.
RR: Best advice you can give a wirehouse rep thinking about going independent?
JP: Pick a b/d partner who shares your passion for excellence, is quick to respond to your independent needs, and has the depth to give you and your clients peace of mind in challenging environments.
RR: What challenges will you face over the next five years?
JP: We work in an industry that has tremendous overcapacity and faces slow growth. That makes consolidation inevitable.
RR: If you could meet one business-related figure, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you ask?
JP: Henry Ford. At what point did you realize you had a substantial competitive advantage? Most critical: cost of production or human capital? What steps would you have taken to prolong the advantage?
RR: In 10 years, your firm will be?
JP: Known as one of the nation's best, most admired and trusted financial-services firms.
RR: A book every financial advisor should read?
JP: The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.