Going Indy?

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Mar 8, 2005 5:34 pm

Raymond James or Wachovia FINET?

Mar 9, 2005 2:28 pm

Both are the only indy firms with true full service resources (due to having NYSE sister-companies), so in terms of depth & breadth of resources they'll be very similar (although Wachovia FINET probably has more banking type services than RJ).  My bias is strongly toward RJ, cuz I'm there and love it. 


Some issues I'd be concerned with at FINET: It's a tiny part of a huge firm, that seems to want to keep getting bigger thru acquisitions.  It's a big wirehouse culture.  Its parent's major business is being a bank.  (none of those elements are where I'd personally want to be a part of as an independent.) They're one of the very few indies that pay more than a minor amount of financial assistance; it shouldn't be necessary as an incentive to buy production if they're successfully attracting reps. They were even running ads at one point where if you inquired you got a chance to win a car lease -- yikes!  (If you've looked at various indy broker-dealer surveys, you'll find FINET doesn't report statistics; I assume it's because their numbers just won't favorably stack up with the big boys.)


None of those points may be of concern to you, though. 

Mar 10, 2005 9:53 am

Finet technology is weak.  Back office is a mess due to upteen different firms combining.  Lower commissions on muni's.  No trail on money market and margin.  Higher operating costs.  Not an ownership culture (no matter what they say)  Weigh that against a big check that they will give you and look at from a long term perspective.  I spent two days with Finet in Richmond...and initially was impressed but the more I looked the less I liked.  RJFS is the better choice IMHO


Mar 10, 2005 5:57 pm

What about name recognition?

Mar 10, 2005 6:16 pm

Any insight into the Fidelity Investment Branch jobs??

Mar 10, 2005 11:15 pm

Name recognition meant nothing to me as an indy.  Sorry, can't help you there.  Most people have heard of both with Wachovia having more national recognition.  Probably close in Florida and some parts of the SE...but I bet still more people have heard of Wachovia...even in those parts. 


Part of the point of going indy is to be on your own.  I rarely have to explain Raymond James.  I explain the services we provide and how we can help clients.  Very little if any ever comes up about the b/d.  People are doing business with you!

Mar 10, 2005 11:40 pm
Duke#1:

Both are the only indy firms with true full service resources (due to having NYSE sister-companies), so in terms of depth & breadth of resources they'll be very similar (although Wachovia FINET probably has more banking type services than RJ).  My bias is strongly toward RJ, cuz I'm there and love it. 


Some issues I'd be concerned with at FINET: It's a tiny part of a huge firm, that seems to want to keep getting bigger thru acquisitions.  It's a big wirehouse culture.  Its parent's major business is being a bank.  (none of those elements are where I'd personally want to be a part of as an independent.) They're one of the very few indies that pay more than a minor amount of financial assistance; it shouldn't be necessary as an incentive to buy production if they're successfully attracting reps. They were even running ads at one point where if you inquired you got a chance to win a car lease -- yikes!  (If you've looked at various indy broker-dealer surveys, you'll find FINET doesn't report statistics; I assume it's because their numbers just won't favorably stack up with the big boys.)


None of those points may be of concern to you, though. 



and what about LPL?

Mar 10, 2005 11:43 pm
zacko:

Finet technology is weak.  Back office is a mess due to upteen different firms combining.  Lower commissions on muni's.  No trail on money market and margin.  Higher operating costs.  Not an ownership culture (no matter what they say)  Weigh that against a big check that they will give you and look at from a long term perspective.  I spent two days with Finet in Richmond...and initially was impressed but the more I looked the less I liked.  RJFS is the better choice IMHO




I had many of the same concerns re FiNet, and in fact didn't even bother to visit Richmond as I became more suspicious of their attitude towards indy and the 'ownership culture'.  It's very interesting to hear you say that Zack, as I had the very same feeling.


Not to mention at FiNet you're competing for resources with their wire guys who are giving them a 50-65% gross margin, and you're giving them 10-20%.  Who do you think is going to get more attention?

Mar 11, 2005 2:09 pm

It's 1% of the parent companies revenue...and someone brought up LPL.  Good point...largest indy firm out there where the b/d's prominence as a name brand is non-existent.  If given the choice, I actually like the way LPL markets themselves better than RJ.  I can live without the client confusion that occurs since I use my own DBA.  RJ does a good job of "trying" to take a back seat but...unlike LPL the do not permit DBA's on the statements, which I don't care for either.


No firm is perfect--I would advise anyone to go with whichever firm's product mix, culture, payout, and overall way of doing business best matches your own.

Mar 22, 2005 12:58 pm
ABCD:

Raymond James or Wachovia FINET?



FINET is offerring money upfront because that is what the major players do to attract business.  Overall, their capabilities are far superior as a firm to RJs because they have so many facets.  The average rep at FINET also produces much more than the typical RJ independent...over twice as much...Is it because they can "afford" to attract the better talent or their indy reps have more to sell?  Both.

Mar 22, 2005 1:58 pm

"Raymond James or Wachovia FINET?"



I don't know if this will matter to you but I just took away a FINET account because the client wasn't straight on the relationship with FINET and Wachovia Bank (the RR may have created the confusion on purpose) and was pissed at some Teller there.

Mar 23, 2005 12:23 am
carri:
ABCD:

Raymond James or Wachovia FINET?



FINET is offerring money upfront because that is what the major players do to attract business.  Overall, their capabilities are far superior as a firm to RJs because they have so many facets.  The average rep at FINET also produces much more than the typical RJ independent...over twice as much...Is it because they can "afford" to attract the better talent or their indy reps have more to sell?  Both.



don't kid yourself...FiNet is offering $$ up front because they HAVE to in order to attract people....why else would they do it?

Mar 23, 2005 10:23 am
carri:
ABCD:

Raymond James or Wachovia FINET?



FINET is offerring money upfront because that is what the major players do to attract business.  Overall, their capabilities are far superior as a firm to RJs because they have so many facets.  The average rep at FINET also produces much more than the typical RJ independent...over twice as much...Is it because they can "afford" to attract the better talent or their indy reps have more to sell?  Both.



Carri, come on now!  So you're saying Wachovia has decided to charitably dole out upfront money to FINET joins even though they don't need to?  Yeah, I'm sure the bank bean counters and Wachovia stockholders agree with that approach!  And, Carri, contrary to your statement, NONE of the "major players" in the indy world pay up-front money -- just some modest amounts to help with the transition costs.  The RJFS's and LPL's of the world don't have to pay up-front money because they easily attract quality reps without having to.


BTW, we don't know what the average FINET rep grosses, because Wachovia to date has declined to disclose any statistics in the various b/d surveys that are published.  What's your source for your claim?  But, I wouldn't be surprised if the average is fairly high, if only because FINET has about the highest production requirement ($250k) among indies to join.  And, tell us how FINET's capabilities are "far superior" to RJ's.  Other than FINET offers more banking products (because Wachovia's primary business is being a bank), I'm not aware of any meaningful resource advantage.  So, tell me about all the things FINET reps have to sell that RJ reps don't.  I may be missing something in my analysis.

Mar 24, 2005 11:55 pm
Duke#1:
carri:
ABCD:

Raymond James or Wachovia FINET?



FINET is offerring money upfront because that is what the major players do to attract business.  Overall, their capabilities are far superior as a firm to RJs because they have so many facets.  The average rep at FINET also produces much more than the typical RJ independent...over twice as much...Is it because they can "afford" to attract the better talent or their indy reps have more to sell?  Both.



Carri, come on now!  So you're saying Wachovia has decided to charitably dole out upfront money to FINET joins even though they don't need to?  Yeah, I'm sure the bank bean counters and Wachovia stockholders agree with that approach!  And, Carri, contrary to your statement, NONE of the "major players" in the indy world pay up-front money -- just some modest amounts to help with the transition costs.  The RJFS's and LPL's of the world don't have to pay up-front money because they easily attract quality reps without having to.


BTW, we don't know what the average FINET rep grosses, because Wachovia to date has declined to disclose any statistics in the various b/d surveys that are published.  What's your source for your claim?  But, I wouldn't be surprised if the average is fairly high, if only because FINET has about the highest production requirement ($250k) among indies to join.  And, tell us how FINET's capabilities are "far superior" to RJ's.  Other than FINET offers more banking products (because Wachovia's primary business is being a bank), I'm not aware of any meaningful resource advantage.  So, tell me about all the things FINET reps have to sell that RJ reps don't.  I may be missing something in my analysis.



Funny how Carri hasn't posted anything to defend herself.....obviously she's a headhunter under contract with FiNet and trolling for prospects....

Mar 28, 2005 9:11 am

Joe, I was thinking the same thing.  She might also be an in-house recruiter for Wachovia.

Mar 28, 2005 10:52 am

I looked at Fi-net extensively.  Was NOT impressed with what I saw.  Who would EVER go there if it wasn't for the cash?  Everything they have is substandard..except for the managed account program which is decent.


They are attracting some big producers--who are mostly from wirehouses, but if you look beyond the cash--there aint much there IMHO.


Mar 28, 2005 7:34 pm
zacko:

I looked at Fi-net extensively.  Was NOT impressed with what I saw.  Who would EVER go there if it wasn't for the cash?  Everything they have is substandard..except for the managed account program which is decent.


They are attracting some big producers--who are mostly from wirehouses, but if you look beyond the cash--there aint much there IMHO.




so they are getting those who are willing to sell themselves for short term rewards.....salesmen not craftsmen....

Mar 29, 2005 10:01 am

According to the 2004 Independent Broker Dealer Guide published by On Wallstreet Magazine, the average FINET broker produces 310K in revenue.  That is much larger than the industry average.

Mar 29, 2005 10:02 am
joedabrkr:
Duke#1:
carri:
ABCD:

Raymond James or Wachovia FINET?



FINET is offerring money upfront because that is what the major players do to attract business.  Overall, their capabilities are far superior as a firm to RJs because they have so many facets.  The average rep at FINET also produces much more than the typical RJ independent...over twice as much...Is it because they can "afford" to attract the better talent or their indy reps have more to sell?  Both.



Carri, come on now!  So you're saying Wachovia has decided to charitably dole out upfront money to FINET joins even though they don't need to?  Yeah, I'm sure the bank bean counters and Wachovia stockholders agree with that approach!  And, Carri, contrary to your statement, NONE of the "major players" in the indy world pay up-front money -- just some modest amounts to help with the transition costs.  The RJFS's and LPL's of the world don't have to pay up-front money because they easily attract quality reps without having to.


BTW, we don't know what the average FINET rep grosses, because Wachovia to date has declined to disclose any statistics in the various b/d surveys that are published.  What's your source for your claim?  But, I wouldn't be surprised if the average is fairly high, if only because FINET has about the highest production requirement ($250k) among indies to join.  And, tell us how FINET's capabilities are "far superior" to RJ's.  Other than FINET offers more banking products (because Wachovia's primary business is being a bank), I'm not aware of any meaningful resource advantage.  So, tell me about all the things FINET reps have to sell that RJ reps don't.  I may be missing something in my analysis.



Funny how Carri hasn't posted anything to defend herself.....obviously she's a headhunter under contract with FiNet and trolling for prospects....

Mar 29, 2005 10:04 am

Yes...there is something published...funny how your own ignorance can come back to haunt you.