SB vs. ML

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Feb 23, 2006 6:12 pm

I'm coming over from NYL a successful 2 years of selling lots of insurance. I currently just received an offer from Smith Barney. However, I have one more interview with the regional manager at Merrill Lynch next week. I have been informed on whats expected of me from both firms. Any feedback would help. Thanks.

Feb 23, 2006 8:17 pm

Both are good firms.  Hopefully you will be able to turn many of the insurance clients into investment clients.  I would make a decision based on your opinion of the different managers.  All things being equal, I personally would go with ML.


Best of luck.


Feb 23, 2006 8:56 pm

Whattaya want on your business card- a BULL or an umbrella.......

Feb 24, 2006 9:30 pm

Do you think the fact that you respresent the LARGEST FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY on Earth could be an advantage in gathering clients & assets?


And that's NO Bull. (smile)


Feb 25, 2006 7:39 am

I think they are both great.  I would say it boils down to local
management and the office.  One other small item, a portion of
your comp will be in company stock, and look a the market cap of C vs
ML.  I want my deferred comp to grow 10x...and if I had to pick
between the two stocks I would not be betting on C.



 

Feb 25, 2006 7:40 am

I forgot...If you like go get Citigroup's review on ML...they support my opinion.

Feb 25, 2006 11:06 am
FinclPlngPro:

Do you think the fact that you respresent the LARGEST FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY on Earth could be an advantage in gathering clients & assets?


And that's NO Bull. (smile)




Only a slight advantage perhaps....many clients do not want to deal with a huge, monlothic, impersonal, expensive organization.

Feb 26, 2006 6:00 pm

Thanks everyone for their imput. It helps. I'll be back on to let everyone know my decision.

Feb 26, 2006 7:59 pm
joedabrkr:



Only a slight advantage perhaps....many clients do not want to deal with a huge, monlothic, impersonal, expensive organization.


WAIT, is the name of the game not to personalize the service?  Be one-on-one with your customers?  Right?


So, the client should never feel like they're doing business with a "huge, monolitic, impersonal, expensive organization"--instead they should feel like they're doing business with their local rep and their local branch.


I did have to bite my tongue on the word "expensive" because I do think more and more retail clients are drifting away from full service wirehouses because they are being bombarded with "Trade up to an unlmited number of shares for no more than a thimble full of toe jam."


That is an ad somebody is running, isn't it?  Or did I dream it?

Feb 27, 2006 6:59 am
joedabrkr:
FinclPlngPro:

Do you think the fact that
you respresent the LARGEST FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY on Earth could be
an advantage in gathering clients & assets?


And that's NO Bull. (smile)




Only a slight advantage perhaps....many clients do not want to deal with a huge, monlothic, impersonal, expensive organization.





C'mon Joe.  Each rep contros there own destiny, and builds there
own platform for which they would like their clients to
experience.  If the rep is so weak that they cannot leverage the
tools of a large, impersonal organization, and deliver them in a
personal way...they suck anyway. A wirehouse rep is not an impersonal
robot by virtue of his B/D.  Just like not all Indy reps rape
their clients with 15 year Skandia annuities.



As an independent you probably purchase a software package from your
B/D that produces nice client review reports.  Does your B/D care
about Mrs. Smith and her review?  NOPE.  The way you deliver
it is what is personal.  The difference is just the B/D we are
purchasing it from. 



As for cost to clients...I was surprised to find ML charges less for
most services than the bank I worked for, especially when it comes to
asset management and banking.  I have went head to head with the
Trust department of my former bank (in fact they outright hate me
because they know I know both sides) a dozen times and always win the
business.  We deliver substantially more for far less money. 




Lastly I have never felt one ounce of pressure to "sell" anything,
which frankly surprised me.  When we recomend a stock we are
required to offer independent research opinions as well as our
own.  Our mutual fund wrap accounts cary multiple fund families as
well as our own.   And we have over a pile of SMA's so big I
cannot see around it. 




Feb 27, 2006 10:57 am

Yes it is true that the rep tailors the experience.....but when you're working off a smaller payout(because you have to pay for all those investment bankers and research analysts and your branch manager's new BMW), and when you have higher sales quotas, you have to work with more assets and more clients.  So, it's much more likely that you won't deliver as high a level of service.



Speaking of service I have many calls to make.  Later.

Feb 28, 2006 7:42 am

The only people that have sales quotas in my office are rookies. 
We have 25 yeat vets doing 300K in production and 3 year vets doing
700K.  Our management puts no pressure on the reps to
produce.  They obviously want to grow, and our  comp rewards
those that do, but if your happy...fine.  This is where there is a
misonception on ML...and perhaps it has changed in the last 8
years...but I have found it to be a really low pressure, planning based
firm. A growing rep will find a net pay-out of around 50%...and for
what you get for the 50% you are giving the firm seems far more than
fair.    

Feb 28, 2006 3:22 pm
rightway:

The only people that have sales quotas in my office are rookies. 
We have 25 yeat vets doing 300K in production and 3 year vets doing
700K.  Our management puts no pressure on the reps to
produce.  They obviously want to grow, and our  comp rewards
those that do, but if your happy...fine.  This is where there is a
misonception on ML...and perhaps it has changed in the last 8
years...but I have found it to be a really low pressure, planning based
firm. A growing rep will find a net pay-out of around 50%...and for
what you get for the 50% you are giving the firm seems far more than
fair.    



That means that you have a very good branch manager most likely....

Feb 28, 2006 4:46 pm

If you think you can produce, I can't imagine SB being any better than ML...ML's resources for the broker are unbelieveable.

Feb 28, 2006 4:51 pm

I have a buddy who recently left ML for SB. He was teamed with a million dollar producer and they got a great transition package. He has been there about 6 months, and he says that the overall platofrm/capabilties of Merrill are better than SB's. Granted, not by a tremendous amount, but the advantages are there.


ML's managed platform is slightly better, but SB's trust dept and business lending side has the edge.


All in all, the firms are very competitive.

Mar 9, 2006 2:09 pm

Thanks everyone. I have decided to go with Smith Barney in one of their NYC offices. They seemed to be a bit more enthusiastic about getting me onboard. Plus, I felt more comfortable with the management there.Since I am fully licensed my traing starts next week. Every other aspect of each firm was pretty much equal. Thanks again for all of your advice.

Mar 9, 2006 9:22 pm

What should I look for in a branch manager?

Mar 10, 2006 9:50 am

Good luck in your new endeavor MacPhisto