Performance Hurdles -- MSSB / UBS / ML / Wells

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Aug 24, 2011 5:39 pm

Are there any recruiters that know the differences between the performance hurdles at the four major wirehouses right now?  RecrutingAce had a great post a few years back, but that was before 2008 and the JV of MS/SB, Wells/Wachovia, BAC/ML, etc.

Alternately, if anyone is currently in any of these programs and would be willing to disclose, that would be useful as well. Thank you.

Aug 26, 2011 8:20 am

Merrill is the hardest i know in 3 years you need to have 15AUM, MSSB is probably the second hardest i believe they wanted 1.5AUM in the first year and Wells is the most forgiving with 130k gross in the first year.  I know all the numbers are for different time frames but you can get an idea.  Merrill has the strategy that you need to have a big wealthy network to make it through the PMD program

Aug 26, 2011 9:52 am

This is what I have gathered from my experience in the business and talking to peers who are at other firms or have been at some point:

MSSB is a Best 2 out of 3 system (Gross Production, Net Acquired Assets, Fee Based Assets).  You have to meet hurdles in 2 of the 3 categories in order to stay alive. Also Gross and NAA are Trailing 12, not cumulative.  Once your production matches your annual salary, you start getting payouts, and if you make the tiers at the end of your fiscal quarters, you get a cash bonus (also stock bonus at the end of the fiscal year).

ML has cumualtive numbers, but you have to make all 3 (Gross, Net Annuitized Assets, Net New HH's over 250k). You get payouts if you produce more than your monthly gross requirement.  Also quarterly cash bonuses and annual stock bonuses if you are achieving your goals.

WFA goes by Monthly Gross Production -- I have heard somewhere in the ballpark of $6k/month.  From what I have gathered, this forces trainees to sell A-shares and Annuities and not really focus on recurring revenues from Fee Based Products.  Personally, I don't agree with this type of structure, but that's just my two cents.

UBS - I would be very curious to get an update on the new program (that started in 2010).  They don't hire anywhere close to as many trainees (150-200 this year vs. 2,400 at ML, 2k at MSSB, 800 at WFA), so my guess is their compensation is better since they are much more selective with their hiring, but I could be wrong.  In the old program (2008 and earlier), apparently they used to take away a portion of your salary if you didn't meet your goals, but I'm not sure if that is still the case. 

If anyone has any further insight or if I am incorrect anywhere, please post.  Not really looking to make a change but it is always interesting to see where all of the firms stand in their programs.