Smith Barney vs. UBS vs. Merrill vs

or Register to post new content in the forum

50 RepliesJump to last post

 

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Jun 22, 2006 11:30 pm

Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS or Smith Barney???  So many choices...


Many of you have asked me to explain the difference between the different training programs, so I'll do my best to hit the highlights here.  Understand I have recruited for all of them at one time or another and have decided to only focus on recruiting for Smith Barney now for the past two years for reasons that will be apparent after reading this...


Compensation:


Merrill Lynch pays a salary for 2 years and they tend to pay on the higher range between the 4.  However, and this is very important to understand...  What you have there is a monthly forgiveable draw!  It is NOT a salary plus commission position.


Morgan Stanley pays a salary for one year, and no commissions in the first year 


UBS salary is tied into your production for the first 2 years.  If you do not meet your goals, they take a percentage of your salary away.  (this really stinks by the way when you are trying to pay your bills)


Smith Barney compensation is salary for 2.5 years, PLUS commission, PLUS bonuses if you are meeting your goals.  And stock options on top of all that.


So, to compare the four, let's take an arbitrary example.  Let's assume you you are offered a salary of 50K at each company and your production in your first year is 50K.   Here is about what you would make after your first year:


Merrill:  50K because they only allow you to keep commissions (at 50% payouts) if they exceed your salary in any given month.  In this example your commissions would not exceed your salary.  


Morgan Stanley:  same thing.  50K


UBS is better.  You would probably keep around 60k because you are meeting your minimum goals and they are not taking a percentage of your salary away.


Smith Barney:  about 70K conservatively.   50K salary, plus 33.25% commissions on the 50k (16K), plus around 4-6K in cash bonuses for the year.  And another 10-15k in stock options on top of all that in each of your first 3 years.


Culture / Reputation:


Merrill Lynch.  One word.  Stuffy.


Morgan Stanley.  Another word.  Trouble.


UBS.  No real problems there.


Smith Barney.  Exclusive and entrepreneurial.



Difficulty in getting hired:


Merrill:  not overly difficult.


Morgan Stanley:  they're somewhat desperate.


UBS:  Not easy to get hired.


Smith Barney:  Very difficult to get hired.


Overall, although it is a long and tedious process to get in with these companies, you have a better chance at success, honestly, with Smith Barney if you get hired.


And before you all flame me for being biased, I will say this again.  I have had a chance to recruit for all of these firms.  I have CHOSEN to recruit for Smith Barney exclusively!


I hope this helps!

Jun 22, 2006 11:48 pm

As far as the effectiveness of the training programs, how would you describe each firms (methods, materials, etc.)?



Thanks

Jun 22, 2006 11:58 pm

Breaston,


That's a good question.  Here's the best short answer I can provide.


Merrill makes it difficult to succeed in their POA program because they impose some serious restrictions on who you can bring on as a client.  As a rsult, many fail there.  


Morgan Stanley is having a lot of internal problems as a result of recent very bad press over their business dealings.  they brought in a big wig from Merrill to shake the company up, and shake it up he has.  I can't tell you how many resumes from Morgan Stanley cross my desk every day...  There is also a lot of manager turn-over going on company-wide which makes it hard to be successful there as a trainee when the manager who hired you is being demoted or booted out on a regular basis.


UBS is pretty stable.  Their training program is a good one.  Their reputation is also solid.  The only real problem I have with them is that instead of offering you a carrot to succeed there, instead they punish you for not meeting your goals by taking money out of your pocket.


At Smith Barney, your salary is your salary, and if you don't do well, all that happens is that you don't get as many bonuses.


ALSO, and a very important point I forgot to mention earlier, YOU CAN OFFER LOAN PRODUCTS to your customers at Smith Barney!  Bottom line here, is more opportunity to make more commissions for yourself!


Jun 23, 2006 12:22 am

What kind of production hurdles does SB have? Or is it a once you're in, you're in until you make too little and quit deal?

Jun 23, 2006 12:44 am
RecruitingAce:

Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS or Smith Barney???  So many choices...


Many of you have asked me to explain the difference between the different training programs, so I'll do my best to hit the highlights here.  Understand I have recruited for all of them at one time or another and have decided to only focus on recruiting for Smith Barney now for the past two years for reasons that will be apparent after reading this...


Compensation:


Merrill Lynch pays a salary for 2 years and they tend to pay on the higher range between the 4.  However, and this is very important to understand...  What you have there is a monthly forgiveable draw!  It is NOT a salary plus commission position.


Morgan Stanley pays a salary for one year, and no commissions in the first year 


UBS salary is tied into your production for the first 2 years.  If you do not meet your goals, they take a percentage of your salary away.  (this really stinks by the way when you are trying to pay your bills)


Smith Barney compensation is salary for 2.5 years, PLUS commission, PLUS bonuses if you are meeting your goals.  And stock options on top of all that.


So, to compare the four, let's take an arbitrary example.  Let's assume you you are offered a salary of 50K at each company and your production in your first year is 50K.   Here is about what you would make after your first year:


Merrill:  50K because they only allow you to keep commissions (at 50% payouts) if they exceed your salary in any given month.  In this example your commissions would not exceed your salary.  


Morgan Stanley:  same thing.  50K


UBS is better.  You would probably keep around 60k because you are meeting your minimum goals and they are not taking a percentage of your salary away.


Smith Barney:  about 70K conservatively.   50K salary, plus 33.25% commissions on the 50k (16K), plus around 4-6K in cash bonuses for the year.  And another 10-15k in stock options on top of all that in each of your first 3 years.


Culture / Reputation:


Merrill Lynch.  One word.  Stuffy.


Morgan Stanley.  Another word.  Trouble.


UBS.  No real problems there.


Smith Barney.  Exclusive and entrepreneurial.



Difficulty in getting hired:


Merrill:  not overly difficult.


Morgan Stanley:  they're somewhat desperate.


UBS:  Not easy to get hired.


Smith Barney:  Very difficult to get hired.


Overall, although it is a long and tedious process to get in with these companies, you have a better chance at success, honestly, with Smith Barney if you get hired.


And before you all flame me for being biased, I will say this again.  I have had a chance to recruit for all of these firms.  I have CHOSEN to recruit for Smith Barney exclusively!


I hope this helps!




Right, you "chose" to recruit for only SB, declining money from the others. 



I hope no one takes your review to heart, it's deeply flawed and, of course, biased.

Jun 23, 2006 1:05 am

If you anythiing about their program, where would you rank Raymond James in that mix???

Jun 23, 2006 1:06 am
bjack73:

If you know anythiing about their program, where would you rank Raymond James in that mix???

Jun 23, 2006 6:23 am

At Smith Barney, you no longer have access to that wonderful analyst telecom analyst. What a shame. Not.


Smith Barney is as good/bad as any other wirehouse. It more depends on the office/manager.


BTW if their training program was so good, they might not be offering 200% of your trailing twelve for seasoned vets. 

Jun 23, 2006 9:02 am

Frankly, I have many strong relationships within Smith Barney and think highly of them.  My money is on MS at this point.  I like what they're doing.

Jun 23, 2006 9:46 am
BrokerRecruit:

Frankly, I have many strong relationships within Smith Barney and think highly of them.  My money is on MS at this point.  I like what they're doing.



Can you be more specific about MS?

Jun 23, 2006 9:59 am

BJack,


Raymond James is also a good company.  However, the brand name recognition is not as strong as the others which, as you may know, makes it harder to get clients.  


As far as their training program goes, I do not know enough about it to speak of it, but I can tell you I have never lost a candidate because he went to Raymond James instead.


Ace

Jun 23, 2006 11:48 am

BrokerRecruit-


Could you be elaborate a little on what MS is doing that you like?


They just announced a great QTR...I'd be interested in why you like them at this point.


Thanks,


Rugby


 


 


 


 


Jun 23, 2006 12:17 pm

I just think it's a good story.  You've got two very committed leaders in Mack and Gorman.  Some like them, I don't.  I happen to like those that aren't afraid to make brash decisions and know that it's ok to spend money to make money.  Gorman has certainly pissed some people off along the way, but his track record at Merrill shows that he can lead (or at least act like they know how).

Jun 24, 2006 9:30 pm

Even thought Smith Barney is my primary client; my money is on Mike Butler and BrokerRecruit.. While it is difficult to change horses during the race: Morgan Stanley is putting their money where their mouth is.



Did you see the Dow Jones newswire article about Merrill survey to brokers asking them if they were talking to the competition? They mean Morgan Stanley. I have been told by many big long time Merrill producers they are in play with Morgan Stanley. Just a matter of time.

Jun 24, 2006 10:34 pm

Wow, this is a very biased topic I have ever seen (besides the EJ fans). This is like saying: Apples vs oranges vs Pineapples Which is better! (I have a point to why it's like this...)


The wirehouse wars have been bigger than ever and since most are loyal to their pockets, its only time that most will jump the vanwagon from one wirehouse to another (or just go indy). So in the end, its not about the wirehouse or ANY other company for that matter, its about your personal production, benefits of the company, and (in some occassions) loyalty. Hence: Apples, Oranges, or Pineapples? That is just my personal opinion...


Biasedrecruiter: you wouldn't happen to have a link to that newswire? im curious on the ML vs MS issue.


here is a nice ML vs SB fact: http://registeredrep.com/mag/financehired_fired/index.html

Jun 25, 2006 12:58 am
Biasedrecruiter:


  Merrill, the largest brokerage house in the U.S., is a signatory to the
interbrokerage pact that allows brokers to leave with client contact
information so they can ask customers whether they wish to transfer accounts to the new firm. Brokers, however, must leave behind account details. 
 


The protocol, designed to allow brokers to switch firms without fear of legal
reprisal, requires firms to transfer account data within a day of receiving a
one-page authorization from a brokers' client.


For years prior to the pact, Merrill rushed to court shortly after receiving
notice from brokers to prevent them from taking clients with them. The firm
more recently also has sought temporary restraining orders to prevent brokers
from contacting clients and to prevent former executives from recruiting key
talent.


GORMAN IS A GENIUS.


While at Merrill, he oversees a radical change in policy - the firm agrees to not go after departed brokers.  Shortly thereafter, he goes to MS and recruits Merrill brokers!


Does anyone else think he might have had this planned out ahead of time?

Jun 25, 2006 5:16 am

" However, the brand name recognition is not as strong as the others which, as you may know, makes it harder to get clients."


This is only true if you believe it to be so.

Jun 25, 2006 9:43 am

Anonymous -


I believe it to be so because I hear it every day from brokers who are in the business.  Low name brand recognition makes it harder to attract the big dollars.


And I have spoken with thousands over the years.




Jun 25, 2006 2:02 pm

Did you ever think that low name brand recognition is used as an excuse from these brokers?


As an example, LPL has some huge producers, but the public doesn't have a clue as to who they are.  The public just knows Jim Jones from "Jones Wealth Management".  ...and they've only heard of the firm because someone referred them to Jim.

Jun 25, 2006 2:57 pm

thanks biasedrecruiter.


a lot of you guys are confirming what I have been trying to say to the newbies. In the end, its the producer not the company