MSSB vs Boutique

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Dec 1, 2010 9:47 am

Been in the business for about a year and have learned the majority of the ropes and how to do things at a boutique firm.  I recently interviewed at MSSB and am waiting to here an offer from them.  I have a pretty decent deal at the boutique, small salary, 50/50 commission split, 50% payout.  I also work with a senior guy here who has helped in raising assets etc.....

I basically wanted the forums take on what to do...do i accept an offer at MSSB because of the name and the ability to grow there, or do I stay where I am and hope that the money will come eventually?  Any insights would be great...

Dec 1, 2010 12:16 pm

If things are going reasonably well, you'd be a complete FOOL to leave.

Dec 1, 2010 1:47 pm

I'm not making enough money as I said........

Dec 1, 2010 2:04 pm

You won't make any more at MSSB, unless you are counting the salary(and I wouldn't because that is like a 1 year thing i think)..

Also if you aren't bringing in enough assets at the boutique, you will never make the first year at MSSB..

My only question is: Regarding the 50/50 split and 50% payout.. Are you saying to you and the senior advisor split 50/50 on everything you do(or everything?) and then you get a 50% payout. Because if it is based on what you do that is like 25% payout.. and you could get that at a bank..

Dec 1, 2010 2:35 pm

I don't think that the guy I am working with is good.  Any commissions earned are 50% (since half is taken by the firm) and then I split it 50/50 with the guy I work with.  Basically what I am asking...is someone with my experience (a little over a year) who is working at a boutique...... will it be more beneficial for me in the long run to go to MSSB.  Keep in mind..at this boutique we are almost 100% equity.  No bond exposure, some ipos, etc.....

I am trying to figure out if I have a good thing going at this boutique (where I get a small salary, not making that much money in general) or if I should go to MSSB where they give me a salary for 2 years and training to help....

Dec 1, 2010 2:38 pm

bullmarket, you'd have a MUCH EASIER time ramping up your efforts where you are, than going to MSSB. The "culture" at MSSB, is like a cattle or chicken farm too. Nobody would give a rats butt about you.

Trust me when I say this too, that NO firm has a good enough name or marketing plan, that makes getting accounts any easier than what you are dealing with right now. Over the last 20 yrs, I've worked for some of the biggest brokers and banks in the country, now I'm indy.

If you are anywhere close to getting it, making it, seeing the light, you have no idea how good you got it right now, where you are.

Dec 1, 2010 2:40 pm

I appreciate the comments guys....

My only thoughts are that I can always go to a bigger firm, get the name behind me, and make a team for myself over there....doing that exact same thing.

Dec 1, 2010 2:52 pm

How much money are you making? How much do you need to make?

Do you realize that it is extremely rare to make any decent money in this biz for 3-5 yrs?

Ok, and I didn't realize you were gutting multiple haircuts.

What is "not good" about the sr. you are working with?

Dec 1, 2010 2:59 pm

under 20k  right now.  Believe me I didn't expect 200k my first year...but I did expect more than that.  Atleast I figure at MSSB I can make 3-4 times that my first year.  The payout is 50/50.  So meaning if I do 10,000 gross.  That turns into 5 for me and my partner and then 2500 for me....

In addition we are a trading firm...by "not good"  I mean we don't trade.  Thanks

Dec 1, 2010 3:09 pm

Yes, I can see the issues with that.

If you just can't see yourself making 50k where you are, for the next year or two, I'd suggest you consider checking out a regional bank, something smaller. The opportunities there can be surprisingly good, referrals from the bank, and maybe a decent sized book. Usually they want at least 2-3 yrs of experience, but...

Dec 1, 2010 3:13 pm

I appreciate your comments....I want to be in this business...i know I can make it.....and I'm okay with "eating what I kill"....But theres got to be a better situation at another firm...even if it involves being on my own a bit....wouldn't you agree?

Dec 1, 2010 3:31 pm

Yes, I agree. Your current situation might very well be a no go. I do think however, that MSSB is an extremely viable choice, not sure I'd send my worst enemy right now to them, or a long list of other big firms. Furthermore, this is a tough time for an entry level person in our business. Seriously, check into the local banks in your area. Not a big one, not a tiny one, something in between, that has high favorables in the local community, and the stock not trading in the penny share category.

Dec 1, 2010 3:46 pm

thanks a lot for your help i appreciate it.