Offer to interview at ML

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Jun 27, 2011 1:47 pm

To add to my work drama, I recently received an email from ML inviting me to interview with them. I understand all the pitfalls of working for a major wire, but I was thinking that if I at least went through the interview process, I could use their offer as a back up. I like my office and I like being independent, but if something doesn't start happening, I will be under water soon. When my "draw" ends in September, I think I will be in a pickle. I would like to go work for ML for a few years and have a salary while building a book and them come back to my indy with hopefully 70% of the book I built at ML. I am not trying to bail on my firm, I just know that if I am not paying the bills while building a book, then what's the point. I am pretty certain that my boss would understand my situation and would probably let me come back when I was ready.

Any thoughts? 

Lay them on me...

Jun 28, 2011 12:54 am

Have you talked to your boss about your issues?

Jun 28, 2011 11:55 am

I don't see the reason to speak with my boss right now. I figure why ruffle feathers now when nothing could come of this interview with ML. 

As much as I understand how going Indy is the way to go, a part of me is starting to think that you should pay your dues at a wire first. The Indy model is awesome, but I'm starting to think that it is more for an established FA who can bring a good percentage of their book with them. With that book, they can generate referrals and continue to build their book regardless of which firm they are with. Someone new to the industry will have a hard time building a book in a small Indy firm like myself. I am not making excuses. I hit the phones hard everyday and I am still full of enthusiasm.

The bottom line is that I will run out of money and then I am screwed. If I go to a wire for a few years, pay my dues and them come back to the Indy side, I might have a fighting chance. 

Jun 30, 2011 12:48 pm

I went to ML's career night and it was what I expected. I received an email from the Regional manager that I do not have to do any testing and that his assistant will get with me to schedule my first interview. I figure i will just see what happens.

Jun 30, 2011 1:22 pm

Have you talked to your boss about possibly letting you work his C clients? If he is retiring in 4 years and considering you taking over it makes sense that he would start to transition you into working his book. Let his clients (your future clients) get to know you.

ML is a different world than Indy, you will miss your current office.

Jun 30, 2011 1:33 pm

You make an excellent point. I need to figure out when is a good time to have this conversation. I am just starting the interview process with ML and obviously do not have an offer from them. I definitely know I would miss my office, but even with all of my prospecting efforts, it looks like I will  be underwater by September.

Jun 30, 2011 3:33 pm

Don't tell a wire that you want to build a book and then bail out to go indy in a few years. What makes you think prospecting at a wire will be any different than at your current indy shop?

Not trying to be a dick, these are just questions you need to have answered yourself.

Jun 30, 2011 4:15 pm

My prospecting is good. My appointments are going well until I explain how we have a separate B/D and separate Clearing house. It is usually the same grimace and then they start to try a find a way to get out of my office.

I definitely would not tell them I want to go indy in a few years. I also have some institutional business that I have a good shot at acquiring, but I am thinking they might balk at the idea of working with an Indy when it comes to multiple 7 and 8 figures. Especially since I am having a hard time closing individual business.

I also spoke with my secretary and she has over 15 years of experience working in major wires and agree's with my concerns. She said that everyone else here has large established books and do not understand why I am having difficulty. She gave me some good advice and I will talk with my boss after the holiday weekend.

I will talk to him about whether or not I am going to be the one he transitions his book to or not. If I am, then the time is now to get the ball rolling since he wants to retire inside of 3 years.

There is also some other issues like possibly switching to a different B/D and some internal issues such as appointing a new office manager since I have only seen ours 3 times in the last 5 months.

Jun 30, 2011 4:18 pm

Secondly, does anyone have experience in approaching this conversation with my boss?

Jun 30, 2011 5:30 pm

Carefully, ha. No idea man, there are better qualified people here that can answer the question about how to start the conversation.

Jul 1, 2011 2:11 pm

You may get your boss to sit in with you on your next appointment. Introduce him to your would be client as owner of the firm. When or if the client gives question to the seperate clearing and brokerage companies, let the boss show you how he handles the objection. Do this several times to increase the chance that your prospects will raise the question.

Jul 1, 2011 3:40 pm

Wherever you are you have to make the greatest place in the world. Why would anyone want to be anywhere else? If you are going into meetings with the mindset you will not be able to overcome these objections, you never will. If you don't have yourself convinced you work with a great firm and people need to do business with you, you are not going to make it.

Very few clients or prospects asked who my new firm cleared with. Most, even those who supposedly were sophisticated HNW families, had very little clue how that process worked. And they really didn't care. People want to know they have a knowledgable professional they can trust looking out for them.  In a nutshell, if asked about your clearinghouse and B/D, answer. If not, don't.

Here is what you say: When Wirehouse A makes a decision, do they make have the best interests of their clients in mind, or the best interests of the shareholders? PAUSE. I think we both know who they really care about, and they will throw their clients under a bus to bring in another dime in revenue. What does the Wall Street Journal print, company earnings, or client earnings? That's right, everything is about profits with Wirehouse A. Here at ABC Capital we are in business because of our clients, and our decisions reflect that. (Pause, let it sink in). We work for you, and not some hot shot banker in New York who could give two cents about whether your kids go to college. If there are no further questions, here is a pen, and put our relationship in writing. (HAND PEN)

Seriously though, your mindset has to be that wherever you are, that's the place to be. At a wire you have a big name, but the prospecting is the same. You aren't going to work at Merrill and magically have people throw money at you. At a wire you have a different sort of pressure. Both models are good and both work in different ways. At a wire you may have the security of a pittance of a salary for a few years, but that salary comes at a price. One price is when the firm decides you need to do more fee based advisory business. They give you three months to have XXX assets fee based. If not, see ya. Many wires don't pay a penny to you on accounts under $100k. Or they pay you but severely cut your payout. And we all know when you are building a book you are going to have some sub $100k clients. Not too many people throw $5mm at a rookie out of the gate. But they are willing to throw you a bone to prove yourself. There are good and bad points to both wires and being with an indy. The grass is always greener.

Talk to your boss. Ask him about sitting in on a couple of meetings. Ask him if he has any clients he would like you to work.

Remember, all great successes come with tremendous struggle, and without struggle there are no great successes. Best of luck to you my friend.

Jul 5, 2011 10:40 am

There are a few things you should consider.

1.  Find out everything about the complex.  How is the support? Any training? Any subscriptions to lead vendors?

2. Find out everything about your manager.  How is he? Does he support in your success? or are you just a number?

3. Find out hurdles, it varies by complex and your salary. 

4. Find out a typical week schedule, does the complex have many meetings weekly? or do they let you run your business?  it's critical.

5. Did I say support? it's critical. 

Jul 5, 2011 12:59 pm

newregrep-

Those are great questions I will definitely have those answered. I

Jul 6, 2011 2:17 pm

DTA,

I had the same response as newguy44; why are you bringing up the issue of your B/D and Clearing issue. That is YOUR issue not the clients. I have never in 20 years have a client ask me about who we use for clearing. When with a client I would just not bring it up.

I worked at a big wirehouse for 18 of my 20 in the business. I thought because it was a big name firm that would help me grow my business. This is what I realized. Your clients do business with you, not the firm you are with. wirehouses are not all they are cracked up to be. You will have the follwing to deal with when you are at a wire. Pressure from branch mangers to put your clients in all the crap the investment bankers want to get rid, regional managers who don't give a rats ass about you, you are simply a nember to them. Bad press when the next investment product the geniuses in IB think up blows up. Surly punks right out of college working in your NY HQ, who think they deserve to be CEO of the entire company. Unscrupulous colleagues who will try to prospect your clients in the waiting room of your office(actually happened to me).

Don't listen to me, I am just bitter that my old big wirehouse would have failed had it not been for the U.S. Gubmint bailing thier sorry asses out. In anycase, working at a wirehouse is not all it is cracked up to be but I understand if your cash flow is lacking why you would want to take a taste of the bitter apple!

Jul 6, 2011 5:34 pm

The clearing house thing came up only 2 times. My main problem is that I am going to run out of money. I understand I am in a good position within this Indy firm and its way better than a wire. Unfortunately, I am not making any cash.

Jul 6, 2011 8:58 pm

[quote=DTA]

I went to ML's career night and it was what I expected. I received an email from the Regional manager that I do not have to do any testing and that his assistant will get with me to schedule my first interview. I figure i will just see what happens.

[/quote]

Good Afternoon DTA, 

I'm a newb, recent college graduate with a passion for investments. Currently write my own newsletter that I circulate and have developed a business plan using David J. Mullen Million Dollar Practice as a guide. I received an email from a recruiter in California asking to attend this career night you speak of. I'm nervous as this is my first interview and for a difficult position in a difficult company. I've prepared a portfolio with a copy of my resume, business plan and a copy of my weekly newsletter. I'm thinking of bringing in a few copies to hand out at the event. I know this is just the beginning stages of interviewing but I want them to know that I'm not just looking for a job but for a career in an industry i'm passionate about. Could you give me more insight as to what goes on durring the career night event? What I should expect? any preparation tips? Do you think I'm over prepared? Please get back to me as the event is July 12 at 6pm. 

Thank you and I look forward to reading your response!

Marco

Jul 6, 2011 8:58 pm

[quote=DTA]

I went to ML's career night and it was what I expected. I received an email from the Regional manager that I do not have to do any testing and that his assistant will get with me to schedule my first interview. I figure i will just see what happens.

[/quote]

Good Afternoon DTA, 

I'm a newb, recent college graduate with a passion for investments. Currently write my own newsletter that I circulate and have developed a business plan using David J. Mullen Million Dollar Practice as a guide. I received an email from a recruiter in California asking to attend this career night you speak of. I'm nervous as this is my first interview and for a difficult position in a difficult company. I've prepared a portfolio with a copy of my resume, business plan and a copy of my weekly newsletter. I'm thinking of bringing in a few copies to hand out at the event. I know this is just the beginning stages of interviewing but I want them to know that I'm not just looking for a job but for a career in an industry i'm passionate about. Could you give me more insight as to what goes on durring the career night event? What I should expect? any preparation tips? Do you think I'm over prepared? Please get back to me as the event is July 12 at 6pm. 

Thank you and I look forward to reading your response!

Marco

Jul 7, 2011 12:20 am

It's basically an informational meeting. There will be a presentation and some Q&A. You will be able to mingle a bit afterwards. Get a business card from everyone who attended that is from ML. Email them the next morning thanking them for the invite and ask them what you need to do to advance in the hiring process. 

Jul 7, 2011 12:28 am

thank you very much! I appreciate the prompt response.