Is there any agreement in place?

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Aug 8, 2006 3:52 pm

This is a purely hypothetical question.  In the wirehouse training programs, you don't start any production until you've passed your Series 7, 63, etc.  And you spend your time at work initially studying for these exams.  It follows to ask, what would keep someone from signing on, passing the exams, and then bolting?  Surely there must be some formal agreement in place to mitigate this, right?  I would imagine it would make someone look bad to have done this.  But there are people out there who would try it, so what control is in place to prevent that?

Aug 8, 2006 3:55 pm

When you get hired by a wirehouse you have arrived at the top of the heap, so why leap?


Everything else is a step down.

Aug 8, 2006 4:06 pm

Based on earlier discussions on these boards, wirehouses sometimes require the signing of an agreement that training costs are to be reimbursed to the firm if the FA leaves for another firm during the training program period.  According to other posters, these agreements are usually not enforced if the FA fails and is let go.

Aug 8, 2006 4:46 pm
opie:

Based on earlier discussions on these boards, wirehouses sometimes require the signing of an agreement that training costs are to be reimbursed to the firm if the FA leaves for another firm during the training program period.  According to other posters, these agreements are usually not enforced if the FA fails and is let go.



Correct.

These agreements are rarely enforced unless your departure is abusive in nature.

Also, if you jump to another firm the new firm will usually indemnify you from claims of this type.  This is an easy concession to negotiate.

The definition of an "abuse" of the system varies widely and there are no guarantees.  Like I've said in my other posts on this subject, I'm not a lawyer and I can only comment on what I've observed.  But it's important to note that recruiters help thousands of brokers change firms every year, and virtually all of them have a non-complete issue that must be managed.


Aug 8, 2006 5:55 pm

What if the person wanted to skip off to do something totally different that is not in the realm of financial planning?  Perhaps some type of client service job or investor relations-type gig?

Aug 8, 2006 6:00 pm
Arizona Bay:

What if the person wanted to skip off to do something totally different that is not in the realm of financial planning?  Perhaps some type of client service job or investor relations-type gig?


Let's see, do I want to be a stockbroker, get an investor relations gig or answer phones at Yahoo?


Arizona, you need to try to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.


There's too much heavy lifting just getting into the investment sales arena to blow it off because you really want to be a customer service agent.

Aug 8, 2006 7:11 pm

NASD, that's why I said hypothetical because it is purely out of curiosity.  I'm just trying to figure out how everything works and what the controls are that prevent people from exploiting the system.  I'm not interested in becoming a customer service agent or anything of the sort. 

Aug 8, 2006 10:32 pm

The company I'm being sponsored only gives you a signing bonus (enough to cover the first round of testing & recommended study materials) AFTER you're fully licensed, assuming you finish within the given time frame. It's been very difficult getting licensed and not getting paid to do bitch work.

Aug 8, 2006 11:10 pm

That's why people try so hard to get jobs at the big wirehouses. They do not leave you high and dry like that. They give you EVERY opportunity to pass the tests WHILE being paid.


By the way, love the sn AZ Bay. Must have fantastic taste in music.

Aug 9, 2006 2:50 pm
wlooney:

That's why people try so hard to get jobs at the big wirehouses. They do not leave you high and dry like that. They give you EVERY opportunity to pass the tests WHILE being paid.


By the way, love the sn AZ Bay. Must have fantastic taste in music.



Which companies pay you while studying? I've heard from other people that they get paid for the licenses but olny the first round. Most of those people end up failing 2-3 times and having to wait the 180 days to take it for the fourth time.

Aug 9, 2006 2:55 pm

wirehouses will pay you a salary while you are studying for your licenses.  You will be doing other things within the branch as well as they prepare you for production.


From your earlier post, it sounds like Ameriprise.

Aug 9, 2006 7:31 pm

Begs the question. I interviewed at Ameriprise today. And as the branch
manager was making his pitch, he said the company gives a $1,500
signing bonus if you pass the series 7. But you're not an employee
until you pass the test. I was thinking it would almost be worth it to
eat the test costs, get your license and look for work elsewhere.

Is that possible?

Aug 9, 2006 8:01 pm

You don't get your signing bonus with Ameriprise till after you pass your Series 66. They can't hire you without being fully licensed. I'd be cautious with the testing, people take it lightly and fail multiple times. Even if you study your ass off you still risk failing. I passed my Series 7 on the first try but failed the S. 66 twice now. I studied hard but that test is very very tricky.

Aug 9, 2006 8:03 pm
hubbabubba:

wirehouses will pay you a salary while you are studying for your licenses.  You will be doing other things within the branch as well as they prepare you for production.


From your earlier post, it sounds like Ameriprise.



I hear that AXA also does the signing bonus as Ameriprise, only they call it a reimbursement for your testing fees. This reimbursement only covers the first round of tests though. Also, the base salary is lower for AXA according to friends.

Aug 9, 2006 9:39 pm

I'm not taking the test lightly. My intial question was, "If you pass
your tests, could you reject the signing bonus, eat the costs of the
test and look elsewhere with your licenses?" Not that I'm planning to
do any of this. I'm interviewing at other firms also. I was just
curious if someone could do that. It seems that Ameriprise would be
vulnerable to something like that by not offering you a better package
to start. 

Aug 9, 2006 9:57 pm

Ameriprise does it this way b/c people would get their licensing through them and then bolt, according to a manager I've talked to.  I don't see why someone could not jump ship, but then it does look bad. 

Aug 9, 2006 10:04 pm

That's interesting. I agree it would look bad. But I never knew that was the reason they did it.

Thanks for satisfying my curiosity

Aug 9, 2006 10:15 pm

No problem

Aug 9, 2006 10:32 pm
gonzojoel:

I'm not taking the test lightly. My intial question was, "If you pass your tests, could you reject the signing bonus, eat the costs of the test and look elsewhere with your licenses?" Not that I'm planning to do any of this. I'm interviewing at other firms also. I was just curious if someone could do that. It seems that Ameriprise would be vulnerable to something like that by not offering you a better package to start. 


A friend of mine told me that once you're fully licensed you can always jump ship. He said there are companies that make you sign a contract but there will be companies willing to buy out the contract if you sign with them. Don't take my word for it though, I'm just repeating what a friend told me.

Aug 14, 2006 12:48 pm
slkgirl:

A friend of mine told me that once you're fully licensed you can always jump ship. He said there are companies that make you sign a contract but there will be companies willing to buy out the contract if you sign with them. Don't take my word for it though, I'm just repeating what a friend told me.



Slkgirl-

Your friend is correct.  You can always try to jump ship after you are licensed.

However, it's rare that another firm would show interest in you unless you have proven yourself at your original firm.  It's important that you present yourself in the best possible light (experience, performance, potential) and licensure is just a small part of that.