I am a bank channel experiment, do I jump

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Jun 30, 2005 5:06 pm

I have been with a large midwestern bank for 3 years. They basically took me in as a Jr. branch banker and got me insurance and 6/63 licensed and decided to see what would happen. Success to a point was the answer, so a 7 followed a while back and every once in while they let me use it, bonds, uit's, managed accts as soon as I pass my 65, but no stock.


Last year, my second year, was pretty good 100K+ in production, keep in mind I am really a multi-tasking banker who also lends several million a year and is the "king" of deposits. I don't hate life where I am at, but I don't get along with the  sales manager very well, so my chance to move to solely an investment position could be limited.


I guess I am looking for advice from anyone who has made the jump from bank to wirehouse. How does life compare? How much harder is life? Almost all the licensed people around me have been in banks for years, so getting another perspective can be tough.


Thanks for any advice ahead of time.

Jul 1, 2005 2:07 pm

No one out there has gone from a bank to AGE, Jones, AMEX????

Jul 1, 2005 2:13 pm

I am in the bank channel.


To oversimplify it,  I like the bank channel because I have a "built-in audience" so to speak.


I worked at a wirehouse in a previous life many years ago and definitely prefer this way to build my business.


sorry I couldn't answer your question.


be patient, someone will come out of the woodwork.   perhaps post under "what's happening at other firms" you will get more feedback

Jul 1, 2005 2:20 pm

Not me personally, but I do have friends that have made the move.


They tell me...  Prospecting and bringing in new biz is very different than the bank, where most of them just sat there and waited for referrals from the tellers on maturing CDs.


Prospecting is ALOT of cold calling, cold walking, networking, etc.  Not to mention ALOT of rejection, at first.


How do you think current clients would react?  Do they think of themselves as YOUR clients or "the banks"?  Would they move with you?  Do you have a salary?  If so, can you live on strictly commissions?


There is typically greater freedom and income posibilities not being associated with a bank.  But, its like a mentor once told me, "If this job were easy, everyone would be doing it and we wouldn't make so much money."

Jul 1, 2005 2:43 pm

You should ask Stanbrown and Rightway.  I believe both of them went from the bank channel to a wirehouse.

Jul 1, 2005 5:10 pm

Several of the wholesalers I know say they see the trend of advisors moving towards the bank channel and I understand why. However, I am not in a position that I can do just investments. Although I dont report directly to the sales manager, she and I dont see eye to eye much so moving into a position such as a Privat Client Advisor or Retail Investment Officer doesnt appear to be an apparent opportunity.


I have talked with other banks and had a couple offers, but they expect a lateral move and I would prefer to go investments only if I am going to change institutions. Although I do have access to bank clients to contact, and do contact them, I have managed close to 60% of my business from the outside, as I get minimal assistance from bank management to encourage actively referring. These are the issues that have brought me to consider moving to a real brokerage, not to mention I dont enjoy intra or inter office politics. I dont know if Jones is the place I would go to work, but I like their format of getting to be my own boss, I tend to be self reliant anyway.


Some of my clients are my clients and some belong to the bank, I have paid close attention to the difference. As I start to consider this I am mentally sorting out which of the profitable ones and which active referal sources could I get to go with me. As I have only been here for three years I hardly have enough clients to stand on, no matter how many come along, as the vast majority are "transaction" based business.


Mike D. thanks for the names, I will look them up.


I appreciate any other points of view. Thanks

Jul 1, 2005 5:35 pm
scrim67:

I am in the bank channel.


To oversimplify it,  I like the bank channel because I have a "built-in audience" so to speak.


I worked at a wirehouse in a previous life many years ago and definitely prefer this way to build my business.


sorry I couldn't answer your question.


be patient, someone will come out of the woodwork.   perhaps post under "what's happening at other firms" you will get more feedback




You're building YOUR business or the BANK's business?

Jul 1, 2005 6:14 pm
annuity guy:
scrim67:

I am in the bank channel.


To oversimplify it,  I like the bank channel because I have a "built-in audience" so to speak.


I worked at a wirehouse in a previous life many years ago and definitely prefer this way to build my business.


sorry I couldn't answer your question.


be patient, someone will come out of the woodwork.   perhaps post under "what's happening at other firms" you will get more feedback




You're building YOUR business or the BANK's business?



Bank clients are notoriously difficult to move unless they have had a good brokerage experience someplace else. Although not my primary reason to think about moving, I would like to assure myself that my business is my business.

Jul 1, 2005 8:44 pm

Maybe I'm just naive but I have a different mindset.


First I have no plans on moving around.


Secondly, If I did move 3, 5, 10, 20 years from now I am sure many of my best clients whom I have forged solid relationship would follow me wherever I went.


Jul 2, 2005 3:39 pm

I was at a bank (over 15 years and the last 10 as an investment advisor and loan officer), left and went to Jones for a about 4 years and now I am an independent for the last couple of years.   I was also frustrated by the bank's limited products for me to offer and knew that I was only being allowed to do a half a$$ed job for my clients.  Most sophisticated clients didn't do business with the bank brokerage because they know that stocks,bonds, ETFs etc exist.  I was hard to pretend that I was a "real" advisor when I could only offer mutual funds and annuities. That lack of  products and the lack of cooperation or understanding of the busines from the branch managers and rank and file employees made me look elsewhere.


Jones was an ok place to learn the brokerage side of the business but also limiting in different ways than the bank.  Without going into all the downside details of Jones as a company (pm me if you want details), they do have some upside for a person who wants to get a feel for what it is like to be an independent and not necessarily a wirehouse rep. Better be sure you have a really good cash buffer because you will NOT be making the money they lead you to believe you will be earning, at least not in the first few years.  Prospecting from the Jones or other brokerage side is much different than the bank where you have a captive and willing audience.


Many of my clients came with me when I transitioned (both times); many did not because they were, as you say, the bank's clients and not yours. One of the difficulties is that you may have a non-compete clause with your bank's b/d and it can be difficult to contact your prior clients without getting into trouble.  Depending on where you live, how small or large your town is, or how visible you are in the community will make a difference on moving your clients. 


I could add much more.  PM me if you have specific questions.


Good Luck

Jul 6, 2005 11:19 pm

As far as this bank conversation goes, I think it really depends on the bank.  The common argument is that it is the "bank's" customers, versus your CLIENTS.  I know at the bank I am currently at and the relationships I am building this is totally not true.  Any potential long term relationship (100k or more) is definitely a client of MINE, not the bank...but then again that could be because of the way I personally do business versus the actual bank.  The bank gets a bad rap because we also do have what I call CUSTOMERS (versus clients) that are nothing but a hassle....usually less then 50k customers that only come to see you for service issues and end up spending all of their money against your advice.  Needless to say, I am building MY book of business (not the bank's)...but with all the tradeoffs I just mentioned (and don't even get me started on compliance and paperwork...)

Jul 7, 2005 9:49 pm
bankwannabe:

  The bank gets a bad rap because we also do have what I call CUSTOMERS (versus clients) that are nothing but a hassle....usually less then 50k customers that only come to see you for service issues and end up spending all of their money against your advice.  Needless to say, I am building MY book of business (not the bank's)...but with all the tradeoffs I just mentioned (and don't even get me started on compliance and paperwork...)


I think your client vs customer point is true. If 20% of the people make you the real money, there is another 20% that cause ALL the problems. They call me because their credit card payment was off by $.03 against their numbers, pull large amounts out of their IRA's well before they are 59 1/2 for reasons no sane person would call an emergency and they always, against our advice, buy high and sell low.


Then there is the bank anti-sales division, compliance, and the anti-tree division, the people that make the paperwork for compliance. Our IRA kits are 70 pages long and we just added the forms for dispute settlement!!!

Jul 10, 2005 12:23 pm

I didn't like being a bank broker.  It wasn't the product
selection, it was the 6 month time horizon I was faced with when
dealing with each and every client, and management.  I had three
managers in two years, each of whom cared only about last month's gross
commissions.  Adding new money or taking a trade off of fee vs. up
front commission meant nothing to them, no matter how much new money I
brought in.  They didn't encourage churning, but all the top
producers did it.  What does it tell you that they had umpteen
billion in fund and annuity sales, yet had net outflows of money last
year. 



Being a banker is a better gig for me.  I still do investments,
but also get paid on loan originations as well.  It's the
difference between making a few hundred from evey client a few days a
week versus trying to make a thousand from only 'big' clients one or
two days a week.