ML PMD Program

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Dec 16, 2009 8:17 am

Whats up with this program? Any info re:

Stating salaries, Program outline, training, expectations?
Is ML a real mess now? Advice?
Dec 16, 2009 9:56 am

ROOGLE...

 
This has all been posted in the last 90 days..
Dec 16, 2009 9:53 pm

ML is hiring, compensation is salary and is negotiable depending on past salaries.



Training is study for series 7 for six weeks and then series 66 for three weeks. Then a month of preproducion training and then hit the phones and bring in assets. Your hurdles are bases on your salary.



In my opinion, it is a great place to learn the business. PMD lasts three years unless you can graduate early, which a lot of people can/will do. Good luck!

Dec 16, 2009 9:57 pm
business_horn:

ML is hiring, compensation is salary and is negotiable depending on past salaries.

Training is study for series 7 for six weeks and then series 66 for three weeks. Then a month of preproducion training and then hit the phones and bring in assets. Your hurdles are bases on your salary.

In my opinion, it is a great place to learn the business. PMD lasts three years unless you can graduate early, which a lot of people can/will do. Good luck!

 
Is that experience talking or guessing?
Dec 17, 2009 7:47 pm

newby to the board here. there's pmd info on the ML.com website in the careers section. go to "financial advisor" and the state or area you're in, and you'll see the PMD program spelled out in detail. 

 
With that said, who can describe the ML hiring process? In a former career, I was  registered S7, S63 in institutional sales and had never considered retail as I didn't have any kind of deep pocketed network back then. I was good at working the phones though, and landed some big accounts. It was fun stuff actually.   However, as mentioned, I've been out out the biz (voluntarily) for about 10 years BUT have been in medical sales for several years now and, as you can imagine, have some pretty good relationships that I believe I can leverage into a decent book of prospects, espcially just the samll business that all these MD's operate.   No guarantees of course but a good place to start with the existing niche network. MBA already done several years ago, so I'm a pretty good PMD candidate I think.  I also read the "how to be a million $ producer" and a few other "how to be FA" books..so I'm pretty comfortable exploring the retail side at the point in career.
 
Now the question about ML: What the heck is their process when applying online via ML.com ? I'm in a 2nd tier kind of metro area (not a NY or Boston or Chicago)  and applied to the PMD program (via ML.com)  in September for an new opening posted in my area.  Heard nothing.   6 weeks later, another opening for FA PMD.  Applied again, using a different email address. Again nothing.  I emailed the ML website and webmaster with a "status ?" question.  No reply. I am thinking all my info is just lost in the netherworld of ML.com.
 
Anyway, I keep seeing ML posting these FA jobs all over the place, yet I seem unable to get reply to my application other than an online account status that says  "being reviewed" for 3+ months now.
 
I'm in no rush but, at this point, I'm considering using my cold call skills and --  fun sake --  just introducing myself to the local complex manager (3 local offices) and asking them in person "who do I speak with to apply for the PMD program ?", and let's see where it goes.     
 
So, my resume and info is all in the ML system since early September and ML seems to be hiring BUT all over, including 2 recent postings in my area. Any insights on the ML interview process itself would be appreciated not just by me, but I'm sure by any potential candidate that may be considering ML.
 
thanks for the courtesy of any reply. 
 
 
Dec 17, 2009 8:59 pm

Joe you have a great background. What is the attraction of Merrill? Why not get on with an independent and get the 70% rather than the 40%?

 
You know your prospective clients, but is there any concern about Merrill's noncompete?
 
I heard they have a very tough agreement. 
 
Dec 17, 2009 9:41 pm
JoePublic:

newby to the board here. there's pmd info on the ML.com website in the careers section. go to "financial advisor" and the state or area you're in, and you'll see the PMD program spelled out in detail. 

 
With that said, who can describe the ML hiring process? In a former career, I was  registered S7, S63 in institutional sales and had never considered retail as I didn't have any kind of deep pocketed network back then. I was good at working the phones though, and landed some big accounts. It was fun stuff actually.   However, as mentioned, I've been out out the biz (voluntarily) for about 10 years BUT have been in medical sales for several years now and, as you can imagine, have some pretty good relationships that I believe I can leverage into a decent book of prospects, espcially just the samll business that all these MD's operate.   No guarantees of course but a good place to start with the existing niche network. MBA already done several years ago, so I'm a pretty good PMD candidate I think.  I also read the "how to be a million $ producer" and a few other "how to be FA" books..so I'm pretty comfortable exploring the retail side at the point in career.
 
Now the question about ML: What the heck is their process when applying online via ML.com ? I'm in a 2nd tier kind of metro area (not a NY or Boston or Chicago)  and applied to the PMD program (via ML.com)  in September for an new opening posted in my area.  Heard nothing.   6 weeks later, another opening for FA PMD.  Applied again, using a different email address. Again nothing.  I emailed the ML website and webmaster with a "status ?" question.  No reply. I am thinking all my info is just lost in the netherworld of ML.com.
 
Anyway, I keep seeing ML posting these FA jobs all over the place, yet I seem unable to get reply to my application other than an online account status that says  "being reviewed" for 3+ months now.
 
I'm in no rush but, at this point, I'm considering using my cold call skills and --  fun sake --  just introducing myself to the local complex manager (3 local offices) and asking them in person "who do I speak with to apply for the PMD program ?", and let's see where it goes.     
 
So, my resume and info is all in the ML system since early September and ML seems to be hiring BUT all over, including 2 recent postings in my area. Any insights on the ML interview process itself would be appreciated not just by me, but I'm sure by any potential candidate that may be considering ML.
 
thanks for the courtesy of any reply. 
 
 
 
I would definitely call or even walk into the office..
Dec 17, 2009 10:44 pm

Determine the location of the closest office to you.  Call and ask for the name of the manager.  Send a personal letter and a copy of your resume to the manager.  Follow up with a phone call in 5-7 days.  Think of it this way, your job as a ML FA is to sell yourself to people you may not know.  Getting in the door and then getting hired by ML....is selling yourself to someone you  may not know.

Good Luck.

Dec 18, 2009 8:58 am
lake123:

Joe you have a great background. What is the attraction of Merrill? Why not get on with an independent and get the 70% rather than the 40%?

 
You know your prospective clients, but is there any concern about Merrill's noncompete?
 
I heard they have a very tough agreement. 
 
 
Thank you. Here's some more detail that you probably don't need or want but I'll provide anyway for context.
 
non-compete stuff not an issue as I've been out of the biz for 10+ years. I'd be  be more like a "transitioning professional". Not ruling anything out, and  Indy might be in the future but the short answer for "why ML?" for now:  training,  brand, and platform. Yes, in spite of the tainting from bailout fiasco , ML brand is still one of the top recognized names, plus the initial base of prospective clients already knows and trust me, so it would be my name first, with the ML platform in support.   Also, it would be my name that referral sources would be giving to their freinds/contacts, but the ML platform in support would provide a broader base of service I think, but I haven't explored that too deeply yet.
 
Why not Indy? I think I can be more valuable to prospective small business clients (MD offices) due to experience in commercial lending that I didn't mention in original post.  My initial interest is in doing FA work for the small businesses they run, then leveraging that access with the staffers and md's etc etc.   
 
Why choose 40% grid vs 70% indy? I considered the idea of keeping my regular job and sort of moonlighting a bit for a few local Indy's in the area however, my relatively naive reply for now is I that I like the idea of also being a banking resource ...and the additional referrals that can come from that end. In that regard, the broader ML platform offers resources that the Indy's don't.   The added value of the commercial and/or personal retail banking also  might help me create a  bigger pie (and having 40% of that) versus 70% of a smaller pie.  Of course, I'd have to do the math and see what size pies may be involved, as well as ROI for my time and focus, but primarily I  like the idea of leveraging my commercial banking background (from 15+ years ago) into a competitive advantage when prospecting.  I'd think that would be all the better for clients, and for me. 
 
Thanks for the questions and the encouragement.
 
For a moment: back to my original question about the ML FA hiring process via ML.com.  Has anyone applied online and then become engaged in the process ?  If so, what was the time frame from application to contact ? 
 
Lastly, taking some of the advice from prior post: Next step is some due diligence by calling local branch, getting names, prepping a few cover letters, then visit the local ML branch(es).   If I'm going to explore this, makes zero sense to sit and wait for anyone to reply to an online application when I already know -- on paper anyway -- that  I've got much of what the PMD program is looking for.    I just have to decide if it's a good fit at this stage.  I'd perhaps consider going Indy perhaps later on but, for now, I think I can prospect better with the ML name AND my name together. That's the theory behind the plan but I'm flexible. 
 
While I'm in  no rush on this, my motivation has been stoked a bit by the absence of  followup from ML. Why no rush?  I have a god job now already, and FA training and building a book from square 1 would still be a major transition from 1 career into another.
 
Thanks for the insights.  
 
Dec 18, 2009 9:36 am

Joe-

If ML is your quest, so be it.  What I would suggest is to go to an ML office NOT in your immediate area and strike a relationship with an existing FA and let him/her know your intentions.  Ask to get an interview.  The FA gets a nice referral fee and doesn't feel threatened by the competition of another FA in the area.  ML's primarily looking for reps with a book to bring over, but they still have a quota of newbs to fill. 

Good luck

Dec 18, 2009 5:17 pm
lake123:

Joe you have a great background. What is the attraction of Merrill? Why not get on with an independent and get the 70% rather than the 40%?

 
You know your prospective clients, but is there any concern about Merrill's noncompete?
 
I heard they have a very tough agreement. 
 
 
I'll take a look under the rock on this question, as it might be a viable path also: Without having any FA experience at all, what kind of value proposition would I be able to present an Indy firm other than the relationships that I think I might be able to bring in ? Are there any good reference materials I can look into ?
 
I had considered that Indy idea as a way to get started perhaps while also staying in present job, but I didn't see it as practical to have a biz card that says:  JoePublic, financial Advisor with  "Billy Bob's Very Good Investment Services".  While the Indy path might be viable from an investments perspective, my thought was that a wire house could be better way to start, re-learn the biz, have more products available, and add more value to the relationships. Indy might be way to go but I won't know that unless I ask around how feasible it might be, and then look into it. My thought was that a good solid FA training program a la PMD would be the best way to punch my ticket back into the biz. If there are other ways, I'm open to it.
 
Thanks for the courteous replies. It's appreciated.
Dec 19, 2009 7:23 am

Joe,

 
After reading your posts, I think you argue quite well that starting with ML or some other wire is the way to go.
 
There are plenty of experienced reps on this site who advocate that direction for new reps and you have certainly built a solid rationale for your own move in that direction.
 
Dec 19, 2009 9:49 am

"Training program", seriously... None of these firms have training programs or the fail rate wouldn't be so high...

 
Step 1: Prospect
Step 2: Close new business.
 
That is what they are going to show you in training, and not specifics.
Dec 19, 2009 12:58 pm
chief123:

"Training program", seriously... None of these firms have training programs or the fail rate wouldn't be so high...

 
Step 1: Prospect
Step 2: Close new business.
 
That is what they are going to show you in training, and not specifics.


 
Thanks for the comment.  The key issue there isn't product specifics and such, but more about "risk-sharing" on the compensation side while I'm focusing on building a book. ML and mssb programs seem to be willing to share that risk for 2-3 years.  It's a tradeoff of course, with eventual goal to get to 1) prospect, 2) close . All in due time.  thanks for the feedback. appreciated
 
Dec 19, 2009 2:01 pm

I wonder, if you did work for ML, what your time frame would be for going independent?


Also, since ML is part of Bank of America I wonder how often others at BOA will be calling your clients and sinking their collective talons into your clients' financial skin -- making it all the more difficult to take your clients with you because your clients are also "working with Tom, d***, Harry, Larry and Moe over there". And of course they'll be on the horn the second the word is out that your leaving.
 
I've seen this touched upon abit in the forum, but the fact remains that many do like all their statements in one place.
 
I also wonder about the wirehouses pulling the Citigroup nonsense. I see it referenced in the ML and mssb literature either openly or implied that "Our team will help you out". 
 
I had posted my concerns about the noncompete as I heard that ML had a tough one but having seen so many leaving ML, I guess that is not an issue. But I have heard ML is going to make the ACATs a long process.
 
Dec 19, 2009 4:11 pm
lake123:

I wonder, if you did work for ML, what your time frame would be for going independent?


Also, since ML is part of Bank of America I wonder how often others at BOA will be calling your clients and sinking their collective talons into your clients' financial skin -- making it all the more difficult to take your clients with you because your clients are also "working with Tom, d***, Harry, Larry and Moe over there". And of course they'll be on the horn the second the word is out that your leaving.
 
I've seen this touched upon abit in the forum, but the fact remains that many do like all their statements in one place.
 
I also wonder about the wirehouses pulling the Citigroup nonsense. I see it referenced in the ML and mssb literature either openly or implied that "Our team will help you out". 
 
I had posted my concerns about the noncompete as I heard that ML had a tough one but having seen so many leaving ML, I guess that is not an issue. But I have heard ML is going to make the ACATs a long process.
 
 



Primary objective is really just to get started, and I saw a wire "trainee" program as the seemingly logical first step, although I may be wrong and naive on that.   In my research so far, seemed that more info was available about the wire trainee programs, whereas there was limited info for newbies looking to join an Indy firm. Also, as mentioned above, my initial thoughts are that I my have a bigger pie of full service opportunities to explore if I go with a wire/bank full service program versus indy. 
 
Going Indy wasn't necessarily the primary objective or an ulterior motive so there's really no time frame...barely on the radar really. However, things change, markets change, people change, cultures change, needs change, etc.  If I'm doing well and enjoying where I am (as I am now), and my clients are happy, then thats a good place to be, while always keeping options open. Employer keeps their options open; I would do likewise.
 
Then again, although I intend to venture into a local office or 2 next week on a cold call for fun sake, back to my original question for a moment: does anyone have any insights/comments on how the ML process works once registered and apply for an open FA "trainee" spot via ml.com ?    (I'm not myopic on this, ML seems to be recruiting strongly for qualified candidates for "FA PMD trainee" spots.) 
 
thanks again.
Dec 19, 2009 10:28 pm

I had posted my concerns about the noncompete as I heard that ML had a tough one but having seen so many leaving ML, I guess that is not an issue. But I have heard ML is going to make the ACATs a long process.



You must be new.. It is illegal to hold up ACATS.
Dec 19, 2009 10:32 pm
JoePublic:
chief123:

"Training program", seriously... None of these firms have training programs or the fail rate wouldn't be so high...

 
Step 1: Prospect
Step 2: Close new business.
 
That is what they are going to show you in training, and not specifics.


 
Thanks for the comment.  The key issue there isn't product specifics and such, but more about "risk-sharing" on the compensation side while I'm focusing on building a book. ML and mssb programs seem to be willing to share that risk for 2-3 years.  It's a tradeoff of course, with eventual goal to get to 1) prospect, 2) close . All in due time.  thanks for the feedback. appreciated
 
 
They don't share any risk.. 1. If you make it they are still getting 60% of what you produce 2. If you don't make it then they paid you to be a prospector for a couple of years.
 
Doesn't salary fall off after 1st or 2nd year? So they give you say 1.5 years of salary totaling $75K and in return your 3rd(if you make) year you produce $125K of which they keep $75k, so they make all there money back?? 
Dec 19, 2009 11:09 pm

Hi Chief,


I thought so as well. I was told this by someone who is involved with those transfers.
 
He said specifically, and he was talking about ML activity in the future, "that ML may consider not to honor ACATS". 
 
By saying this, I assumed he meant ML would not immediately respond to the request. I would think ML would have to eventually do as requested by a certain deadline.
 
I am not familiar with ACATs so I didn't follow up with more questions.
 
I have had to have clients call wirehouses a couple times to get them to act on a simple IRA transfer request, so I assumed he was referring to that type of a delaying tactic. 
 
 
 
 
Dec 20, 2009 12:51 am
chief123:
JoePublic:
chief123:

"Training program", seriously... None of these firms have training programs or the fail rate wouldn't be so high...

 
Step 1: Prospect
Step 2: Close new business.
 
That is what they are going to show you in training, and not specifics.


 
Thanks for the comment.  The key issue there isn't product specifics and such, but more about "risk-sharing" on the compensation side while I'm focusing on building a book. ML and mssb programs seem to be willing to share that risk for 2-3 years.  It's a tradeoff of course, with eventual goal to get to 1) prospect, 2) close . All in due time.  thanks for the feedback. appreciated
 
 
They don't share any risk.. 1. If you make it they are still getting 60% of what you produce 2. If you don't make it then they paid you to be a prospector for a couple of years.
 
Doesn't salary fall off after 1st or 2nd year? So they give you say 1.5 years of salary totaling $75K and in return your 3rd(if you make) year you produce $125K of which they keep $75k, so they make all there money back?? 
 
yes salary falls after year 2, and then onto the grid.  
 
In your example, 1.5 yrs of salary totalling 75k = 37.5k per year. If I was 3-5 years out of college or so I might consider that, but I'm an established sales rep with a family, etc.  Unless forced to, there's no way I'd willingly accept a 37.5k salary,  which would still be only about 28k net take-home pay even if I had zero withholding.  For me, it's just not prudent to take on that kind of risk in a biz that has an 80-90% failure rate, regardless of mid-long term upside.    If a potential employer likes what they see in my credentials, the business plan, and the potential client base, then they can show it by sharing the risk and make it worthwhile for me to sign on.  
 
If I didn't have factors playing into it, , then sure,  I'd consider taking it on at-risk but, from what I can see so far, the  ML PMD program for transitioning professionals has tiers based on professional experience and present compensation, with PMD's highest  base appearing to be 75k, with appropriate hurdles etc Also a 50k and 25k tier.  That's the path I've been exploring..if there's something better, I'd be interested in hearing about it. Even the 75k tier would be a significant pay cut, so that's part of reason why I'm in no rush at the moment....but am actually more curious where my application is within the netherworld of  ml.com the past 3 months now.  That was purpose of my original post..
 
thanks for the replies. I don't want to hijack the thread into my own personal blog, so I'll keep future posts short.  I'd agree that Indy would allow me to keep more $, but I have to start somewhere with the process, and a wirehouse FA training program seemed the best place to start for a transitioning professional, where my main concern was maintaining something close to my present compensation while I was building a book.