J.P. Morgan vs Morgan Stanley

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Mar 14, 2018 1:34 am

Pros and cons? Seems like J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch's Bank Financial Advisor roles are the no brainer because of the leads from the bank.

Mar 15, 2018 11:03 pm

Just for clarification, do you mean an advisor with JP Morgan, or a branch advisors through their retail banking arm Chase?

I only ask as there is a big difference, JP Morgan advisors are dealing with ultra high net worth (100mm +) accounts, where as chase advisor role is similar to the merill/boa role.

Assuming it's Chase and Merill/Boa branch advisor role here are the pros/cons in my opinion:


Leads, yes it is nice to have bankers incentivized to walk leads over to you.

Traffic, if you're in the right location you have a lot of foot traffic to tap.


Leads. The quality of those leads walked over to you are questionable at best in my opinion. Plus, it can make you lazy. Leads the branch provides will not be enough to sustain you, if you rely on that one pipeline you will fail out. They will tend to be lower net worth leads.

Pay. Because the bank provided you with the leads, they (justifiable) believe you don't deserve as much commission as wirehouse advisors. Your percent of the pie will be less as you didn't source the leads yourself.

Prestige. If you care about that thing, retail branch advisors tend to be looked down upon compared to their wirehouse/private client group counterparts.

Experience. You won't learn how to build your business from the ground up, so if you branch out to your own firm, you will lack that experience.

Hours. In a wirehouse, especially once your established, you're essentially your own boss. As long as you hit your numbers, you can have long lunches, client meetings at cigar lounges, etc. All within reason of course, but your hours are more flexible and you get out the office more. At the retail branch, it's a lot stricter. You won't get as much leeway to leave the office, and you'll be expected to be present during branch hours for referrals, it's harder to take time off.

In my opinion the cons out way the pros. I'm going to be honest. I want to make as much money as possible and build a sustainable business. Higher risk, but it's higher reward financially.

To finish, if you're looking for the 'easy route, and for people to hand you business on a plate, maybe this career isn't for you, just my two cents.

Mar 19, 2018 1:15 am

Thanks for your response. I think with the BofA branch advisor role, you can build your book while at the bank then transition out to a ML office once you're established and have graduated the program. Chase I'm not so sure....

You're saying also J.P. Morgan has a private client group? Interesting...


I'd be careful about any promises to transfer to ML through BOA, no matter what they promise. I doubt they'd let you go easily.

Firstly, if you do well, the branch is going to want to keep you. You add to their performance and make them look good, so they wouldn't want to lose you, and will fight to keep you.

Secondly, and another problem with retail branch advisors, is they could argue that you don't really 'own' your book. As the clients were 'fed' to you by the branch, you didn't bring them yourself, they can argue the clients belong to the branch, and stop you taking them should you leave.

Long story short, if you want to go the ML route, start on the ML route.

Re JP Morgan, it's not really a 'private client group', it's another arm of a big corporation. Chase is the retail banking arm on the group. These are the branches you see along the roadside. JP Morgan is the investment banking/private banking arm. They are one of, if not they top private bank globally. To work for that arm is HIGHLY competitive, think Ivy league grad stuff.

Chase the retail arm does have a private client group for lower end affluent clients.