Where and/or should I be looking?
I'm a younger rep a few years out of school and have been at AMEX for the past 18 months. My numbers have been descent, and I've entered the first stages of our management track, but feel as though I'm doing myself and some of my clients a disservice by staying with the firm. The time I have spent here has certainly not been a waste as I've picked up some pretty good skills as well as a much better feeling for the marketplace. However, the idea of pushing variable universal life policy's and variable annuities for the next 25+ or even 1 year is taking a toll on my enthusiasm for the business. Not to mention the extremely narrow marketing plan (setting up bowls in restaurants to collect business cards to take people to lunch as the predominant feature) with a company ban on cold calling. I've taken on 10 clients with 250k-1.5m and find that these are the people that I like to work with, but am frustrated with my managements insistance on the merits of annuities versus wrap accounts etc...
Just wondering if anyone might have some input on whether I'd be attractive to a bigger more prestigious firm (that's obviously where I want to be at some point)? And if there are some firms people could reccomend that would provide me better marketing support and opportunities than soliciting the kind of people that are trying to win a free lunch? I want to kick a$$ and love being an advisor, just want to do it in a more sophisticated and professional environment. Any ideas on where I should go from here would be greatly appreciated.
Your story is eerily similar to mine. Spent 3 plus years at AXA Advisors ( VERY similar to AEFA). Became disgruntled with management encouragement of prop VA's and VUL's ( they are the solution for everything!). Developed client base and decent AUM, then started to look around. Left AXA and landed at Merrill. Lets just say the difference is night and day. PM me for more info if you'd like.
I interviewed at AMEX and luckily did not accept the position (have you seen AMEXSUX.com? You might be interested.
I recently joined Raymond James and I have nothing bad to say about them. They really do believe the client is #1 and nobody has pushed me to sell any one product. Great training program to. Very high quality of people, I did not see that at AMEX. They liked young people with few connections (so they could cold call). RJ is concentrating on hiring transitioning professionals.
ALSO you can go indy and still be with RJ. Brokers do it all of the time after they reach a certain production level.
Limited marketing plan?? Only by your imagination. Go to Prospecting here or on any sight. There are many ideas beside fish bowls. I don't know if I believe you about no cold calling. The offices here were cold calling every Saturday.
I'm not sure what your market is, but the AEFA around here that does
"Lunch & Learns" (the fishbowls you mention) has been providing
outstanding results. Granted, some markets will simply not do well with
this type of marketing, that is obvious. But done correctly, you should
easily be able to put on 3 or so of these events a week, reaching 25-30
people, and receiving about 8-10 PPMs, which should translate to at
least 1 new client each week.
It is very possible though that this type of marketing isn't very
useful in your area, which has been displayed at many AEFA offices,
while highly successful in others. If management keeps pushing this
while there are no results, you may want to look somewhere else that
fits your marketing strategy a bit better. But if others are performing
well with this but find yourself not, it might be more of a problem
with the approach as opposed to the marketing technique.