Going to work for AIG Retirement (VALIC)
So, I find the information on this forum to be the most informative compared with other forums that I have visited. I have a question... or a request. I am going to work for AIG Retirement (formerly AIG VALIC). I am curious about what it is like to work for the company and any advice from former or current employees. Thanks for your help.
I had heard that it was hard to get out once you signed a VALIC annuity. I am willing to give them a chance as they are sponsoring me for the series 66, 7 and L&H license. Thanks for the information.
Have you heard the news about AIG? Cause if you haven't, I promise you that those teachers have. Unless Valic is one of the business units that AIG is trying to sell, I'd think twice, maybe three times before I went to work for a company that has AIG in the name.
There are lots of other places out there that would give you a shot so don't settle for VALIC. If what ice said is true that those clients are pretty much stuck where they are with those contracts, then perhaps it would be better to explore some other opportunities.
Easy. You get assigned to about 15 - 20 school districts in your area/region. You go to those schools each day and sit in their teacher's lounges, lunch rooms, etc. either before, during, or after school (or all 3), and then you sign teachers up for 403Bs.
When you sign them up for 403Bs, you either elect a VALIC variable annuity, or their managed program "Guided Portfolio Services" - or maybe even both.
You then pretty much ignore your 1,500+ clients until they are ready to retire and rollover their state pension contributions & interest. Then you roll that over...also intoa VALIC annuity or GPS.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Oh by the way, you can ignore your clients, because AIG makes it IMPOSSIBLE for them to leave. Outgoing transfers require the client to request transfer-out paperwork, that MUST be originals (with holographic ink stamped on the back, and serial #'d by request), so no worries there!
Oh..you'll probably be banned from cold calling, you just hafta do the lunch room thing. You won't make any money for a few years, but that's OK. If you stick with it, you'll have like 2,000 people putting in $50, $100, or $200 a month, and eventually get to the point where you are bring in a few $MM a year in "flow" without even doing anything. In the meantime, you'll likely need a second job.
Maybe, if you're lucky, AIG will give you access to the Federal pension system...since your paychecks will come str8 from the U.S. Treasury and all!
Companies like AIG deserve to go broke.
And they will find people dumb enough to work for them. Times must be tough.
Boy, is that ever true. I used to prospect nurses and doctors, and many of them work for state hospitals in MS. They would come to me with rollover paperwork, and as soon as I saw AIG or VALIC on the paperwork, I would tell them it's not worth my time. Too often I had opened accounts, and waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . The clients would sign time and time again, followed up with incessant phone calls, and AIG just wouldn't give up the money. The biggest class-action lawsuit in history awaits a lawyer smart enough to figure out how to get to the people who run AIG's ACAT departments. So I would tell them there's nothing I can do for them.
I'm glad they're broke too. But I'm not glad that my kids' taxes will be going up for the rest of their lives to pay for AIG's stupid mistakes.
Speaking of which, would it be possible for other firms to treat AIG the same way AIG treats outgoing ACAT's? For example, suppose you have a customer who wants to move money into VALIC or an AIG investment. Could you merely say, no? We'll take the money out of your account, but we're not going to transfer it. We'll just send the check to your home, after withholding taxes and penalties. You can get that back when you file next year. We're not doing business with them anymore, and that includes transferring accounts. Would that be legal?
The position seems like a good opportunity to get your licensing done and have a list of prospects handed to you. But you have to look into the future also. If your goal is to become an advisor with a flexible schedule, unlimited income potential, and the ability to leverage your client book then this may not be the position for you. Once you sign clients into the 403B they become a client of AIG/Valic. In 10 years when you have hundreds of clients you do not have the ability to transfer your book to another firm. It is highly likely that the majority of your clients will continue their relationship with the firm and not the advisor. Especially if you do not keep frequent contact with each of them.
But with this economy it will provide you with income and your licenses. Whichever path you choose, good luck to you.
What are some other VALIC business model types(not meaning the close to bankruptcy, the lunch and learn with their captive audience 403b or other vehicle type)?
I called Valic once for a transfer. I don't remember the young woman's name, but I'm pretty sure she had Down's Syndrome.
I was sitting with an FA who used to work for Valic. I figured he could help me navigate the minefield of Valic rules.
Anyway, we're getting the normal rigamarole about how we need to sign the transfer paperwork in a virgin's blood at midnight under the rays of the new moon as Jupiter rises over Neptune.
I'm arguing politely with the request, as we'd already submitted the paperwork- and EVERYTHING was correct. We go back and forth for about ten minutes. She keeps interrupting me, and not letting me finish. Although I am being EXTREMELY polite, she is snide, and all but abusive.
She tells me she's going to get a supervisor.
She tells me that she's going to place me on hold, and does so. Or so I thought.
I look at the former Valic rep in my office, and say: "Oh my gosh- this woman is a jackass."
Suddenly, she's back on the line: SCREAMING at me! I mean, she's losing it. She's SCREAMING:
"WHATCHOOJUS'BOUME?!!?!?! WHACHOO JUSSAY!??!?! YOUAINGEDDAWAYWIDDISS!"
I go, "Ma'am, I thought you were putting me on hold?"
She says, "I DARE YOU TO REPEAT THAT!!!!!!"
And I say, "What? That you're a jackass? Sure. Ma'am: YOU ARE BEING A TOTAL JACKASS."
She keeps screaming:
And, then? Then, she drops the bomb:
"YOUDUNMEZZEDWITDAWRUNGPERSON!!!! WHOYOUTHINKYOUIS!? YOUAIN'TGOTDARIGHT!
She keeps screaming that she's going to take away my license.
And I get REALLY pissed.
I go, "Oh yeah? Who are you gonna call? NASD? Go ahead. Call and tell them that after you lied to me about putting me on hold, you then started screaming at me. Tell them that you refused to honor the client request he put in writing, and that you are not complying with the client's written instructions, and that I said because of your refusal to do YOUR JOB I called you a jackass. GO AHEAD! CALL EM!
I DOUBLEDOG DARE YOU TO CALL A REGULATOR AND TELL THEM I SAID YOU ARE A JACKASS!!!! THEY WON'T DO A DANG THING ABOUT IT, BECAUSE THERE IS NO REGULATION AGAINST CALLING NAMES!!!!!"
I kid you not: She starts crying.
About thirty seconds after the weeping and sniffling starts, someone else gets on the phone. Apologizes, and tells me that the paperwork is fine, and the client will see his assets shortly.
Is Valic a good firm? Sure. Why not?
Their 800 number for transfers is a hoot.
Well, you could go work for VALIC, but remember, when you start, they will give you a book of business of people that don't contribute to their accounts, don't have any money, and will call you constantly for loans and distributions. Then, your manager will get you to sign up all of your friends and family members. You get looked down upon by brokers and advisors and make a below average living but gain experience. Now, you get fed up with the company and want to leave; but, you forgot you signed a contract with them and you can't take your accounts with you because VALIC won't sign the Protocal. So now your friends and family members are stuck at the company that you hate. If they do want to move over, they will have surrender charges, and then VALIC will sue you.
Advisors that leave VALIC discover that they make 2 to 3X more with other companies or firms. However, only select few companies will hire you because in the investment world, VALIC advisors have a huge black-eye. Meaning, you are viewed upon as a servicing agent and not a financial advisor. The reason being, they have no capabilities to provide actual advise. Furthermore, I hope you like paperwork. You will spend most of your time doing sales reports. You will spend approximately 20 hours a week doing paperwork and 10 hours a week doing reports requesting why you aren't producing new sells.
I will say they have a great training program on how to sell, and sell hard. A lot of people go on to successful careers at car dealerships and time-shares.
Lastly, everybody has an attitude because they are at the bottom of the industry with regards to compensation. Seriously, people don't like working there.
Other than that, it's a great place to work.
I just got appointed with VALIC in the last few months to help one of my current clients, the rep on the phone told me the company hadn't had any new flows into a VALIC product since 2006 for the entire school district! The product itself didn't looked fine, it was the only product I could write as an independent, so I didn't have a problem putting my client into the product.
At least in my area, the 403b options for the employees are limited to almost all captive outfits (Ameriprise, ING's captive unit, ect.). Even VALIC will decline independent brokers in districts in which they are seeing good flows already.
Is VALIC really THAT bad of a company to work for? I'm about to get an offer from them, and everything seems on the up and up to me.
I have transfered lots of VALIC accounts. Does require some extra work. Client needs to be on the phone to conference call to find account info and request transfer paperwork. They will now fax their own paperwork, so its a little easier than waiting for them to mail the forms to the client.
I would realy look at all your options. If you leave the clients typicaly stay with VALIC.
More than two million individuals trust VALIC to help them plan for and enjoy a secure retirement. We are a leading provider of retirement plans for public K-12, higher education, healthcare, government and other not-for-profit institutions and we earn competitive ratings from leading independent industry analysts. Annuities offer a variety of money management choices. Their unique structure can provide tax-deferred growth and the possibility of income guaranteed for as long as you live, even after your account reaches zero. All guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.