Morgan Stanley or Mother Merrill

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Oct 17, 2008 11:12 am

I just got an offer from MS today and they want me to come in monday to give the the official offer letter.  I'm also on the last stages of the interview process with Merrill Lynch.  Resident Director in the branch I'm applying for really likes me and is pushing for me to the director.

I have 2 questions for you guys.  What should I say to morgan monday as I would rather go to ML but MS is not a bad place in my eyes either.  Should I tell them straight up that I'm waiting to recieve an offer from another firm and then I will make my decision?  I do not want to look arrogant or not appreciable for the opportunity.

Also any thoughts as to which firm would be better to start at under these circumstances

Oct 17, 2008 1:41 pm

Tell MS nothing.  A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush

Oct 17, 2008 3:50 pm

You could accept the offer, but with a start date of, say, 1 month away.  That buys you some time with Merrill.

 
Remember, neither firm is looking out for you.  You have to do what's best for you.
Oct 17, 2008 8:30 pm

I just got an offer from Merrill.  Looks like I will go to merrill.  Thanks guys. 

Oct 17, 2008 9:09 pm

Congrats younggunz. How did the two offers compare as far as base, goals, and timeframes?

Oct 18, 2008 2:33 am

I'm negotiating base for both on monday, but I believe I will get a higher base from Merrill from what I hear. Morgan has a negotiated base and the same formal hurdles no matter what the base, but ML the higher the base the higher the hurdles. 

The MS training program is 2 years and the merrill lynch program is a little over 3 years and more structured from what I can tell.

Also I was suprised by the hurdles.  MS actually has higher hurdles starting off 0 - 12 months but then Merrill really starts ramping up there hurdles from month 13 - 36 and then outpaces Morgan.

I get the feel that Morgan still has the approach of setting really high hurdles starting off and see who survives where Merrill's training program is set up a little better as far as giving some time to get going and more training.  Overall very close though.  I think it really comes down the branch manager at each office your working at and the atmosphere.

Hope that helps.








Oct 19, 2008 8:11 pm

What changes did the ML managers tell you to expect from B of A?

Oct 20, 2008 2:23 am

They said that b of a will pretty much stay out of there way.  They don't want to mess up with the merrill brand. 

They said that they bought charles schwab( I think it was them) and that they couldn't run it so they sold it.  They learned there lesson from that and will just let merrill do what they have been doing, especially the brokerage business.

Overall there pretty happy because they are now better capitalized and can continue bringing in business.  From what I hear I think they kept John Thain on.  Also there advisor program is pretty bad from what the branch manager said so they are very happy not only to get the assets from merrill but also the advisors. 

The culture there seems to be business as usual and it doesn't seem to bother them much.  yet...

Oct 20, 2008 9:20 am
younggunz:

They said that b of a will pretty much stay out of there way.  They don't want to mess up with the merrill brand. 

They said that they bought charles schwab( I think it was them) and that they couldn't run it so they sold it.  They learned there lesson from that and will just let merrill do what they have been doing, especially the brokerage business.

Overall there pretty happy because they are now better capitalized and can continue bringing in business.  From what I hear I think they kept John Thain on.  Also there advisor program is pretty bad from what the branch manager said so they are very happy not only to get the assets from merrill but also the advisors. 

The culture there seems to be business as usual and it doesn't seem to bother them much.  yet...

 
There are three different words--they're, there, their--and intelligent people know how to use them.
 
It is a damn shame that Merrill is reduced to hiring those who do not know how to use them.
 
The fact that John Thain is still around simply means that the merger is a work in progress, he'll be gone soon enough.
 
In my previous life I was part of an NASD advisory team that helped banks form broker/dealers.  Bank executives HATE the compensation packages offered to the sales force in the brokerage firms.  They are fans of base salaries and bonus pools.
 
The industry will be lucky if they're allowed to revert back to the transaction oriented model.
 
The move to fees based on AUM was a star crossed idea in the first place.
 
BTW, brokerage firms resent retail.  Merrill Lynch would have been more than happy to spin off its branches years ago.  The true profit centers at an investment bank is investment banking, clearing for others, proprietary trading, and institutional brokerage.
 
 
Oct 20, 2008 10:34 am
Provocative Put:
younggunz:

They said that b of a will pretty much stay out of there way.  They don't want to mess up with the merrill brand. 

They said that they bought charles schwab( I think it was them) and that they couldn't run it so they sold it.  They learned there lesson from that and will just let merrill do what they have been doing, especially the brokerage business.

Overall there pretty happy because they are now better capitalized and can continue bringing in business.  From what I hear I think they kept John Thain on.  Also there advisor program is pretty bad from what the branch manager said so they are very happy not only to get the assets from merrill but also the advisors. 

The culture there seems to be business as usual and it doesn't seem to bother them much.  yet...

 
There are three different words--they're, there, their--and intelligent people know how to use them.
 
It is a damn shame that Merrill is reduced to hiring those who do not know how to use them.
 
The fact that John Thain is still around simply means that the merger is a work in progress, he'll be gone soon enough.
 
In my previous life I was part of an NASD advisory team that helped banks form broker/dealers.  Bank executives HATE the compensation packages offered to the sales force in the brokerage firms.  They are fans of base salaries and bonus pools.
 
The industry will be lucky if they're allowed to revert back to the transaction oriented model.
 
The move to fees based on AUM was a star crossed idea in the first place.
 
BTW, brokerage firms resent retail.  Merrill Lynch would have been more than happy to spin off its branches years ago.  The true profit centers at an investment bank is investment banking, clearing for others, proprietary trading, and institutional brokerage.
 
 
 
I was thinking the exact same thing when I read the post and the misuse of the word "there."  You, sir, have brass balls, though.  Nice!
Oct 20, 2008 11:10 am

Something to ponder regarding banks and brokerage firms.



A few weeks ago the Federal Reserve, FDIC, or somebody forced a shotgun
marriage between Citi and Wachovia at $1 per share.  It was in all
the papers.



Part of that deal was that Citi was not going to take  Wachovia's
broker/dealer.  This is a very far flung organization that
includes the old Bache, Halsey Stuart also Prescott Ball and Turben
also Wheat First Securities and most recently the storied form AG
Edwards.



They were no small player in the retail brokerage business.



Why did Citi Group not want them?



I suggest that they didn't want them because............well, because
they have no use for a bunch of sales people who think it's a fair
exchange if they take 100 to 200 basis points out of a client's assets
in return for "Buy and Hold," an annual computer print out of how it
went, a birthday card and a couple of hamburgers at the office spring
cookout.



As I understand it, now Citi does have the Wachovia broker/dealer
operations and will fold them into Smith Barney sooner or later.



Along with those firms comes gazillions of hours to be spent defending
claims that the clients were not kept informed and were blindsided by
the recent crash.



How many of you guys and gals have letters written to your clients
urging them to get out of the market, or at least take a lot of the
money off the table?



If you think there are not people out there who will raise their hand
and swear that they told you that they wanted to cash out but that you
either refused to do it for them, or urged them to stay in the market.



After all, earning always go up--therefore the price per share will
always go up.  It's got something to do with something caled the
PE ratio.



Put your left hand on your desk.  Raise your right one.  Practice this:



"I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

Oct 20, 2008 11:29 am

How many of you guys and gals have letters written to your clients urging them to get out of the market, or at least take a lot of the money off the table?

Back when young Putz was a sales manager, during down markets he would intimidate the younger trainee brokers into quitting. Who do you think built his business taking over and managing those accounts?
 
This guy is poison. Here is the way to make it in this business: think for yourself.

Oct 20, 2008 11:36 am

Wrong.  The surest way to lose your ticket is to "Think of Yourself."

 
Your ONLY responsiblity is called your "Fiduciary Responsibility."  If your clients did not come out of the markets before the crash it is your fault.  You're the advisor, and your fiduciary duty is to advise.
 
I am not poison.  I am the voice of reality to all and the voice of conscience to those of you who don't have one but are learning that it would be nice if you did.
Oct 20, 2008 11:38 am

My bad, I read what Getthere said as "Think of yourself" instead of "Think for yourself."

 
Thinking for yourself is only possible if you 1) are bright enough to understand the issues and 2) honest enough to take a full measurement of what is happening and what will happen as a result.
Oct 20, 2008 11:48 am

Tell us, Getthere, what would you do if Mr. and Mrs. Jones hire an attorney to get their money back and you find it being suggested that you did not properly explain the risks?

 
What if the attorney asks, "What did you do with your clieints the last time the market crashed?"
 
How about, "Sir, how are you compensated?"
 
How about, "Sir, what is your education and what specialized training do you have to be a financial advisor?"
 
How about, "Sir, what is Mr. and Mrs. Jones' education level?  Do you suppose that they depended on you to advise them?  Do you suppose that they believed that you would protect their nest egg?"
 
How about, "Sir, isn't it true that all you really cared about was keeping the annual fee, so you were willing to tell them anything to mislead them into not transferring their account?"
 
It's not going to be fun, and no matter how much you think for yourself youy can't put a happy face on it.
 
Grow up, adults can deal with a voice that says things that are difficult to hear, but true nonetheless.
Oct 20, 2008 11:55 am

I am the voice of reality to all and the voice of conscience to those of you who don't have one but are learning that it would be nice if you did.

 


You're advocating the superiority of your own brand of marketing timing strategy. Prove it.
 
You attack others here as incompetent and immoral. That makes you sound guilty of having achieved your "success" through less than moral means, apparently you're not as bright as you believe.
 
You're an old fart who is dabbling in options and discouraging younger advisors from making it through their first down market by executing basic investment management strategies.
 
You're the attacker, the burden of proof to prove any market timing claim is on you. I left a link over at the other thread to help start a discussion.
 
You could try to prove yourself, or you can persist in name calling.
 
Like most professionals, we are in the business of selling and servicing our ideas.
 
In this type of environment, a needy BS'er like you is just "poison".
Oct 20, 2008 12:07 pm

" Greetings from the last stop on my road trip.  Tomorrow I'll be home and unable to contribute, debate, or anything else. "


 
Maybe you could exchange some meaningful PMs with Mrs. Putz.
Oct 20, 2008 12:07 pm
Getthere:

 
Like most professionals, we are in the business of selling and servicing our ideas.
 
In this type of environment, a needy BS'er like you is just "poison".







Most professionals?    How do you plan to answer the
attorney who asks, "What is your education and what specialized
training do you have?"



What does, "Selling and servicing OUR ideas" mean?



You know something kid?  If you were focused even an iota on your
fiduciary responsibility to your clients you'd only be able to respond
to me on Sunday evenings.

Oct 20, 2008 12:34 pm
iceco1d:

Putsy,

 
Can I borrow your crystal ball? 







It's not a crystal ball, it's 36 years of experience.  If you last that long you'll appear to have a crystal ball too.

Oct 20, 2008 12:48 pm

 A crystal ball would be nice. Or even a report about those losing bets on the market today to average in with the purported gains of last week.

 
Old Putz, you'd lose a pissing contest about my credentials. Proving credentials would be like proving you executed those options trades that you bragged about.
 
I like the idea of advisors maintaining a CFP-like license, and at least a BA.
 
Maybe you could find a (different) way to share your insights and experience. Try to be positive instead of negative - it's more fun, once you get used to it. I'm sure others here would be willing to help you, and might enjoy hearing your ideas. You don't have to destroy to create, old Putz.
 
You're so worried about (my) competence, how I spend my time - you're like an old mother hen, deeply caring but continuously pecking!