Prudential Securities branch managers perked up at an April managers' meeting in Dallas when CEO Hardwick Simmons said the firm could conceivably form a marketing alliance with an online discounter.
Simmons "alluded to a possible deal" with a discounter, according to one attendee from the West Coast. The executive talked about the firm needing to "go outside the box" to stay competitive, says another Western BOM.
A Prudential spokesperson had no comment on the subject.
The first Prudential manager notes that some online brokers are having problems with clients losing money with their home-brewed strategies, and an alliance with a full-service house could make sense--especially for larger accounts. Prudential's new Prudential Advisor account, which at press time in May was due out shortly, could fit the bill in such an alliance. Several managers speculate that the $24.95 per trade pricing, separated from the pure advisory fee, would appeal to online customers.
A Prudential branch manager in the mid-Atlantic region calls the new pricing structure "revolutionary."--P.F. and M.H.