New job ethical concerns

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Jun 20, 2007 10:35 pm

I started my first financial job with a small but rapidly growing company about 2 months ago.  I thought it was a reputable firm that I wanted to build a FA career with.  Now I'm not so sure and looking for some suggestions on how to properly handle the situation.


During the training period I was told we used and indi B/D so we could pick & choose from almost anything out there and we were expected do what's best for the client.  However, during training all the new recruits had to have polished presentations of VA & VUL because they were "the most complicated products offered and everything else is easy after that."  Since then I've come to realize that VA & VUL policies account for approx. 95% of the companies biz, and that there are very low suitability standards in place.  Moreover, I have witnessed managers/priciples providing incorrect information about these policies to the staff (I made it a point to do the research) and make the staff explained what went wrong when they write biz besides a VA or VUL.


I finished the training program, got my licenses, and hit the field later this week.  Based upon my experience so far I've decided I no longer wish to pursue a career with this company, but I DO want to continue with a career in this industy.  Any suggestions on how to handle this situation?  Should I continue working at this company while I look for another job?  How do I explain my ethical differances with this company without speaking ill of former employers or looking like I just failed?

Jun 20, 2007 11:32 pm

Just turn in a letter of resignation stating that you are terminating your employment "at will."  List a reason or two for your wanting to leave.  I'd keep it really benign, unless you want to incite a riot.


Keep in mind that there's NOTHING WRONG with recommending VAs & VULs 100% of the time if you can justify each and every sale.  Otherwise, you've got a big, red BULLSEYE on you and your firm for the regulators.

Jun 20, 2007 11:35 pm
kado:

I started my first financial job with a small but rapidly growing company about 2 months ago.  I thought it was a reputable firm that I wanted to build a FA career with.  Now I'm not so sure and looking for some suggestions on how to properly handle the situation.


During the training period I was told we used and indi B/D so we could pick & choose from almost anything out there and we were expected do what's best for the client.  However, during training all the new recruits had to have polished presentations of VA & VUL because they were "the most complicated products offered and everything else is easy after that."  Since then I've come to realize that VA & VUL policies account for approx. 95% of the companies biz, and that there are very low suitability standards in place.  Moreover, I have witnessed managers/priciples providing incorrect information about these policies to the staff (I made it a point to do the research) and make the staff explained what went wrong when they write biz besides a VA or VUL.


I finished the training program, got my licenses, and hit the field later this week.  Based upon my experience so far I've decided I no longer wish to pursue a career with this company, but I DO want to continue with a career in this industy.  Any suggestions on how to handle this situation?  Should I continue working at this company while I look for another job?  How do I explain my ethical differances with this company without speaking ill of former employers or looking like I just failed?



You're totally gay.

Jun 21, 2007 12:02 am

I'm looking for advice on how to transition to a differant company without burning bridges.  How do I explain my departure from this company to future employers?  Also, is it better to be working for a bad company while looking or to be unemployed and looking?

Jun 21, 2007 12:06 am
kado:

I'm looking for advice on how to transition to a differant company without burning bridges.  How do I explain my departure from this company to future employers?  Also, is it better to be working for a bad company while looking or to be unemployed and looking?



It's better to be looking while you still have a job than to be unemployed.  That's pretty much always true.

Tell potential employers the truth-that the position was misrepresented to you, and that there is significant pressure to focus almost exclusively on these two products.  Tell them that you don't mind hard work, long hours, or selling, but you just aren't comfortable with the situation as it stands, and want to be in an environment where you can offer you clients more choices.

Present this honestly, objectively, and without malice.  Any interviewer with more than a cup of coffee worth of experience will be able to read between the lines.  You're not the first person who has faced this situation, unfortunately.  They've probably seen it before.  Just conduct yourself professionally when explaining why you want to make change.  That will go a long way.

Jun 21, 2007 12:07 am

If you hadn't said you worked for a "small but rapidly growing company" I would've thought you worked for Ameriprise. Sounds exactly like their business model.

Jun 21, 2007 12:15 am

Funny thing is I delcined working for Ameriprise because I wanted to avoid this situation, but found myself for the next up and coming version of Ameriprise.


I definately don't mind long hours, hard work, and have the ability to sell (as long as I believe the product is suitable).  Any suggestions on companies to work for or not to work for?  Or at least questions I should ask to make sure I don't find myself in a simmilar situation again?

Jun 21, 2007 1:15 am

You should probably avoid Hull Financial Services.

Jun 21, 2007 3:57 am
joedabrkr:



It's better to be looking while you still have a job than to be unemployed.  That's pretty much always true.

Tell
potential employers the truth-that the position was misrepresented to
you, and that there is significant pressure to focus almost exclusively
on these two products.  Tell them that you don't mind hard work,
long hours, or selling, but you just aren't comfortable with the
situation as it stands, and want to be in an environment where you can
offer you clients more choices.

Present this honestly,
objectively, and without malice.  Any interviewer with more than a
cup of coffee worth of experience will be able to read between the
lines.  You're not the first person who has faced this situation,
unfortunately.  They've probably seen it before.  Just
conduct yourself professionally when explaining why you want to make
change.  That will go a long way.





Follow Joes advice, you are hardly the first person to discover and
quit a shop that is all about VA/VUL sharking. AMP being the most
notable, but there are many others.



"I'm in the investment business, I sell VUL to suckers."

Jun 21, 2007 7:07 am

Are you able to stay and not sell inappropriate products?


VA's are often appropriate products.  I have yet to see a situation in which a VUL was best for the client.

Jun 21, 2007 10:24 am
kado:

I'm looking for advice on how to transition to a differant company without burning bridges.  How do I explain my departure from this company to future employers?  Also, is it better to be working for a bad company while looking or to be unemployed and looking?



Let me guess, you got suckered in by AMERIPRISE

Jun 21, 2007 10:24 am

I could stay and work with IRA's, VA where applicable, and MF, but I don't think it will take long before that becomes an issue.  Also, I question if the commissions will issue before my departure so I may not see compensation for sales.

Jun 21, 2007 10:51 am
kado:

I could stay and work with IRA's, VA where applicable, and MF, but I don't think it will take long before that becomes an issue.  Also, I question if the commissions will issue before my departure so I may not see compensation for sales.



You're missing the point.  Don't worry about whether or not you'll get paid on any particular piece of business.  Having a job currently makes you more attractive to a potential employer.