Merrill lynch interview

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Dec 11, 2005 11:46 am

Yup.  They also need to get their marketing and business planning
done, because week 18 is when they are live and producing...so it
important to get things organized prior to week 18.  

Dec 11, 2005 4:49 pm

And in week 18 is when you REALLY start to pull your hair out, because if you dont make your numbers in the first 6-9 months, you'll end up at Schwab or a bank... or worse, a credit union...

Dec 11, 2005 5:42 pm

I can see that I am making alot of friends here. 

Dec 11, 2005 7:18 pm

blarmston: And in week 18 is when you REALLY start to pull your hair out, because if you dont make your numbers in the first 6-9 months, you'll end up at Schwab or a bank... or worse, a credit union...


--------------------------------------------- 


What kind of numbers are you talking about (AUM and/or revenue generated)?


Dec 11, 2005 7:54 pm

You gotta get 15 million in AUM in 2 years, with the

hurdles broken up into quarters. Also, 10 of that 15

million is required to be fee-based.



Pretty tough for a rookie on his own....but as I've

said before I think ML is a great firm, and I might

even find myself back there someday...but with a nice

book of business in tow.    

Dec 11, 2005 9:12 pm

Pretty tough for a rookie on his own....but as I've
said before I think ML is a great firm, and I might
even find myself back there someday...but with a nice
book of business in tow.


AGREED. In my opinion, it is nearly impossbile to make these goals if you have not had industry experience before coming over. You simply NEED to have a sense of how this industry works, and the work ethic, etc, needed to just make your goals, let alone excel. It's unfortunate, but I have seen a dozen people come in. All are inteliigent, have diverse background in other fields, know many people, but 10 of them are not making the numbers and will most likely not be here in 6 months. Compared to other complexes, I heard ours is more likely to allow a longer period of time to hit your #'s, but only so much time can go by beofre people are shown the door.


It is this reality that gets me in the office by 7am and keeps me there until 7-8pm at night.

Dec 11, 2005 10:20 pm

If I was going to work 13 hour days  "building" a business I would do it at rayjay or LPL with my own shingle why give up 50% to use a name? 

Dec 11, 2005 11:05 pm

Exactly what has been said in the previous posts...



People go to ML for the training. Whether or not you

get good training or not in my opinion depends on the

size of your market (and office). Offices in larger

markets have POA coaches, sales managers, mentor

opportunities, PARTNERSHIP opportunities....offices in

smaller markets simply do not have the volume of

resources and I think it becomes all the harder because

of it for rookies. Overall, if you need training, ML

can give it to you.



Also, the one thing I do miss from ML is the comraderie

of working in an office with a group of, for the most

part, accomplished, well spoken and intelligent people

all going through the same experience I was.



Even though I work in a bank, I AM the investment

division, in that my boss' office is 2 hours away, so

in that respect I honestly feel more like an INDY than

a wirehouse rep.   



ML is a HIGHLY structured, difficult program. But I

think you'd be hardpressed to find many ML POA's that

make it through that don't go on to become highly

successful advisors.





BUT, I'm no ML cheerleader...I'm still gonna be ACATing

ML accounts just like the rest!!! Have a good week!!

Dec 12, 2005 12:40 am

"If I was going to work 13 hour days  "building" a business I would do it at rayjay or LPL with my own shingle why give up 50% to use a name? "


So simply work 6 hours a day, dealing with elderly, non sophisticated investors who want CD's but instead get variable and fixed annuities. Then brag about how the 'business walks over to you', that there's no overhead, that you have regualr 50K gross months, and you have your Series 6 ( which may have taken you 4 times to pass.). Thats good stuff....


In all seriousness... the ML training program is very structured, highly demanding, and youre expected to produce big... For my situation and mentality- I wouldn't have it any other way. If you set the bar high, the only option is to make it happen...


Hope everyone has a strong finish to the year...

Dec 12, 2005 8:19 pm
blarmston:

In all seriousness... the ML training program is
very structured, highly demanding, and youre expected to produce big...
For my situation and mentality- I wouldn't have it any other way. If
you set the bar high, the only option is to make it happen...





Ahh the words of a man who is ON-GOAL.  Good job blarmy.  Hey
if you ever want to toss some of those PC's my way I can pm you my FA
number.  Registration in Cali is free so we shouldn't have a
problem...

Dec 12, 2005 8:24 pm

Trade you some PC's for some juicy prospects..... Always gotta keep the hopper full you know????

Dec 13, 2005 1:29 am
bankrep1:

If I was going to work 13 hour days  "building" a business I would do it at rayjay or LPL with my own shingle why give up 50% to use a name? 



'nuf said.  that sorta sums it all up!


nothin' against you blarm...keep tossin those bagel chips on your lunch break.  when you're ready to trade the blue suit/white shirt/red tie for jeans and a golf shirt and 70-90 gross/60 net payout, let us indy's know...



but i gotta commend ya for having a little piss 'n vinegar....keep pluggin!

Dec 13, 2005 6:35 am

Its a stale debate.  In this months "Cold Call" page in Reg Rep
they asked a guy, who was Indy, about dress.  I liked his comment
of "we manage clients' life savings, so we dress as such, white shirt,
dark suit, and tie." (Paraphrased).  Golf shirts?  Not unless
I am on the golf course.



We where a suit every day.  Our pay-out is pushing 50% (over 50%
with the current bonus program).  I have an expense account. 
I pay no operating expenses.  I have over 100 money managers and
every tool imagineable to plan and manage money.  When I say where
I am calling from, people know.  I can set up a systematic
investment program for a granchild and finance a private jet in the
same day. I have both proprietory and independent research  I do
not pay  for.



My office is not on its own.  I am accountable to my partners as
well as my clients.  I cannot where casual cloths every day. 
Go Indy?  Maybe when I want to slow down, but not at this point.

Dec 13, 2005 10:38 am

don't get me wrong...when I'm meeting with clients, especially going to see new folks, I put on the 'uniform'.  But, when I'm working the phones, catching up on paperwork, etc, it's casual but neat.  I don't really have a lot of folks come in to meet me in my current arrangement.


"Slow down"?  Well that's all a matter of semantics and perspective, I suppose.  I used to think the same way.  Now, however, I realize I don't need to 'run as fast' to have the same bottom line benefit in my pocket-not to mention the psychic rewards of knowing it is MY BUSINESS.  It also allows me to dedicate more attention to each client.


Exactly what are you counting as part of that 50%?  Retirement plan contributions?  Deferred pay that you can't even spend?  Expense account reimbursements?  My 60% net is spendable, in my pocket.  Oh and that's BEFORE accounting for the tax advantages of owning a business as opposed to being a w-2 employee.


I have access to over 100 money managers, and tools better than my old wire house.  I have some proprietary research for free, and I choose which non-prop research I wish to buy(at a rather modest cost).



Hey look, if you're happy, more power to ya.  I am too, and I've seen both sides.

Dec 13, 2005 11:28 am

"but i gotta commend ya for having a little piss 'n vinegar....keep pluggin"


JoeDaMan, I appreciate the compliment. And you know where I'm from, so would you expect anything differently?

Dec 13, 2005 11:31 am
Scorpio:

I guess it does depend on the branch, because the "training" at my branch consists of 1 hour a week of sales training.  The pre-number trainees get an additional hour each week of product training. 



You mean in addition to the training you got to pass all the required exams and your trips to Princeston, right?


Scorpio:

There is absolutely no mention at any time about what is currently happening in the market, where it is likely to go, what the fed is going to do etc...you are entirely on your own to figure that out. 



No, you're not on your own. Like every other wirehouse ML has an entire strategy and analyst staff devoted to that. You're not going to get that in basic sales training because that (again, the market stuff) isn't meant for trainees, it's meant for every member of the sales staff.


Scorpio:

 So the Bloomberg babes are largely responsible for my market training. 


I bet the people who've trained you and the strategy/analyst staff there would dispute that with you.


Scorpio:


At ML you dont get training at the corporate headquarters unless you are a "diverse" employee...aka black, hispanic. 



Perhaps thinks have changed since I was at ML in the dark ages, but the training program I went through featured regular visits to Princeston foreveryone who hit some relatively low hurdles. Your tone and you comments on "diversity" say more about you, sorry, than about ML.

Dec 14, 2005 6:33 am

[quote=joedabrkr]

Exactly what are you counting as part of that 50%?  Retirement plan contributions? 



[QUOTE]



No.



Roughly 4% is deferred comp with options to be payed out in 3 to 8
years on a rolling basis.  Yeah...that MER stock from 8 years ago
that was at $20 a share was a real bad investment.  I gues your
right, I could have been paid $20K back then, paid the income tax, and
I probably would have spent most of it because I was 27 at the time.
All told, I have found that the pay-outs at ML are really pretty good
for all you get, and I am puzzled why everyone attacks it. 



My best friend was Indy and his net pay-out was about 10% over
mine.  I have 3X the assets and less than 1/2 the households...and
he left the bank 8 months before me.  He wore golf shirts, had a
store front, and "owned" his business, he worked more than me, and made
1/3 that I was.  He works in my team now and has a ferw thousand
share of MER.  Imagine that...Indy to ML. 



I hear you, but deferred comp helps to build wealth...it is not evil.
Dec 14, 2005 9:17 am

Rightway, I don't know about people attacking ML's payout, other than historically it had been relatively low vs other wirehouses.  That's apparently changed over the years.  OnWallStreet Magazine's annual comp issue this year showed ML with the highest payout among wires at 4 different incremental revenue levels they calculated.


You'd know better than we re ML payouts, but that same issue showed maximum payout (including long-term incentives in addition to cash payout) topping out at 50% (payouts topped out at 45%).  You didn't hit 50% total comp on transactional biz unless you were doing $5 million gross and all ticket sizes were at least $500.00.  Annuitized biz, funds, & insurance got you to 50% at the $1.25 mm level, again including long-term incentives.  Obviously those amounts were smaller as you went down the grid.  E.g., a $400k producer was at 37-42% (total comp depending on ticket size) and 33-38% (cash payout) for transactional biz, and 46% (total) & 41% (cash payout) for annuitized, funds & insurance.  Apparently there's a zero payout for tickets under $100.00 and accounts under $50,000 in size regardless of production level.  Does that sound about right?

Dec 14, 2005 11:16 am

No deferred comp is not evil, and in fact I have benefited from stock-based compensation in the past.  You get some tax benefits, too.  Of course, that only holds water if the stock goes up!


If your buddy left a bank and set himself up in a 'storefront' and dressed casual most every day, sounds like he set himself up to end up working with the low-end client.  A tough row to hoe when moving from bank to indy.  Those clients I would imagine have some strong emotional ties to the bank, and one would need to take extra steps to make sure to present an image of substance and gravity to bring them over.


I have no axe to grind per se, and I could see why your friend made the move if he could join an existing well-functioning team.


That life is not for me and I am happy where I'm at, but clearly ML is working for you.



Then again, when push comes to shove you're still an employee.  That would be the sticking point for me.



Have a great equity day!

Dec 14, 2005 12:04 pm

That's truly the bottom line...you are still an employee.  I cannot put a price on my freedom...REAL freedom, not freedom that can be threatened with a change in management or coprorate philosophy.  Thus, my signature line...