AGE / Wach - Discussion of Options for Moving

or Register to post new content in the forum

58 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.
Feb 22, 2009 11:30 pm

For those that are ready to leave and want to focus on getting information about other firms to make a wise decision for the long term.  Let's share useful information with each other.



Tell us about the firms you have researched or experienced, where you are thinking of moving to and why: culture, technology, financial planning capabilites, breadth of product offerings.  Let's try and keep this a high level discussion.
 
I look forward to your input.
 
The Eggman
Feb 22, 2009 11:54 pm

OK, I'll put in the first thread

 
I've done a fair amount of thinking, looking into FINET. Here's my take on the pros and cons...
 
THE UPSIDE:
* I can easily take most of my book without everybody back at the office trying to get my clients
* I won't have to change all my clients investments
* I can somewhat disassociate myself from wells / wach with a different branding
* If I'm not happy after a year, I can still make the further leap to another indi or wirehouse.
 
THE DOWNSIDE:
* There will still be wach/wells branding, from what i understand, below my own brand on statments, confirms, etc.
* the payout is lower than other indy firms, and you only get 75% the first year
* there will be NO hiring bonus like I might get by going to another indi firm.
 
Now - please don't vent about finet if you are po'd at Wach.  It's unproductive.  Just tell us what YOU are looking at and why...
Mar 2, 2009 9:17 pm

FINET is worth a serious look.  Anybody have answers to a few basic questions...

 
Does the client benefit---are nickel/dime fees the same as WS, are commissions the same as WS, same statements, same web access?
 
Does broker benefit---are we paid for tickets under $95, what about trails, and what about group health insurance?
Mar 2, 2009 9:39 pm

I was told ISG cannot go Finet. Anyone know if this is correct?

Mar 2, 2009 9:42 pm

There are previous posts on this site that claim ISG cannot go Finet. 


Anyone know if we keep the AGE/WS retention bonus if we go Finet?
 
Mar 2, 2009 10:10 pm

I'm at FiNet. It's horrible. They nickel and dime you and you get the dead weight of America's most bloated brokerage hanging on your neck every time you have to call the back office.



Yes there is group Health. Yes, its the same experience for the client. No, you do not have to have Wells Fargo Advisor Financial Network on your brand, just in the small print.

Mar 2, 2009 11:47 pm
punkbynature:

you get the dead weight of America's most bloated brokerage hanging on your neck every time you have to call the back office.



....dude that is rich.....

Mar 3, 2009 12:02 am

I am moving to Finet in a few weeks and am doing it for the ease of the move.  I realize that they are more expensive than LPL and Ray Jay (the only others that I have investigated) but it is less disruptive to clients, etc.  If they turn out to be as bad as some say, I can move on later.  You do get to keep the retention bonus after moving to fiinet.  One warning, for those investigating, the proforma I received from them was flawed.  It indicated that I would probably get a payout of about 84% before local expenses.  A more accurate number is closer to the mid 70s before local expenses.  It is 15% lower the first year. 

Mar 3, 2009 12:10 am
eggman:

OK, I'll put in the first thread

 
I've done a fair amount of thinking, looking into FINET. Here's my take on the pros and cons...
 
THE UPSIDE:
* I can easily take most of my book without everybody back at the office trying to get my clients
* I won't have to change all my clients investments
* I can somewhat disassociate myself from wells / wach with a different branding
* If I'm not happy after a year, I can still make the further leap to another indi or wirehouse.
 
THE DOWNSIDE:
* There will still be wach/wells branding, from what i understand, below my own brand on statments, confirms, etc.
* the payout is lower than other indy firms, and you only get 75% the first year
* there will be NO hiring bonus like I might get by going to another indi firm.
 
Now - please don't vent about finet if you are po'd at Wach.  It's unproductive.  Just tell us what YOU are looking at and why...
 
I have been at Finet for 5 years. Your payout will NOT get much passed 75% ANY year after the nickel and diming take their toll. Pay especially close attention to the impact of "fee-based admin fees". They like to claim that fee-based is a 90% payout but it is definitely NOT.
 
Also a clarification on the branding. The only place you will be able to use YOUR brand with any prominence will be biz cards, stationary, envelopes and signage. ALL performance reports, confirms, statements and prospecti will show Wachovia Securities errr Wells Fargo Advisors, loud and proud. In the past I would have said there were a lot of positives to Finet, but I no longer have confidence in any part of the firm. That being said...I agree that it is a logical step to going completely indy down the road. Consider it a stepping stone. HOWEVER, IMO this crap they are trying to lay on us about 4front and Envision are designed to make the assets sticky and more difficult to move in the future.
Mar 3, 2009 12:12 am
illinoisrep:

I am moving to Finet in a few weeks and am doing it for the ease of the move.  I realize that they are more expensive than LPL and Ray Jay (the only others that I have investigated) but it is less disruptive to clients, etc.  If they turn out to be as bad as some say, I can move on later.  You do get to keep the retention bonus after moving to fiinet.  One warning, for those investigating, the proforma I received from them was flawed.  It indicated that I would probably get a payout of about 84% before local expenses.  A more accurate number is closer to the mid 70s before local expenses.  It is 15% lower the first year. 

 
This does not surprise me. They have some inept people running these proformas. I will stop short of saying they do this on purpose.
Mar 3, 2009 2:03 am

[quote=training wheels  

 
I have been at Finet for 5 years. Your payout will NOT get much passed 75% ANY year after the nickel and diming take their toll. Pay especially close attention to the impact of "fee-based admin fees". They like to claim that fee-based is a 90% payout but it is definitely NOT.
 
Also a clarification on the branding. The only place you will be able to use YOUR brand with any prominence will be biz cards, stationary, envelopes and signage. ALL performance reports, confirms, statements and prospecti will show Wachovia Securities errr Wells Fargo Advisors, loud and proud. In the past I would have said there were a lot of positives to Finet, but I no longer have confidence in any part of the firm. That being said...I agree that it is a logical step to going completely indy down the road. Consider it a stepping stone. HOWEVER, IMO this crap they are trying to lay on us about 4front and Envision are designed to make the assets sticky and more difficult to move in the future.[/quote]
 
Wheels - are you sticking or looking?
 
 
 
 
Mar 3, 2009 9:57 am

I moved from a wirehouse to a Finet independent practice last Oct. a couple of quick thoughts:


1. If you run the math, all the independents come out fairly equal in payout. There are ticket charges and admin fees on fee accounts at all platforms. There are tech, e&o, affiliation fees, etc at all platforms. Depending on your practice, there is maybe a 5% difference between all the reputable firms. So don't obsess on who has the "best" payout.
2. If you need seperation from the Wachovia brand, pay $1,000 upfront and $20/month and get your logo on all statements, confirms, etc. Looks quite sharp. The client has to look hard to see any mention of Wachovia. (However, in the era of Madof, et al, beware of unintended consequences. You may not like the Wachovia brand, but your clients may be comforted by seeing that name on their statements).
3. Support is very comparable to where I came from. My CA was able to be up and running in 2 weeks. The support may be different at LPL, RJ, but I doubt it is better. The only independent I looked at that I thought would have significantly better service was Commonwealth, but you do pay for that service in lower payout.
4. Culturally, I am very comfortable working within the WS framework, yet being independent. They have treated me well and the dedicated finet management team is, in my opinion, top notch. However, I came from a different wire and didn;t have the bitterness toward WS that many of you have. (I understand that bitterness. I have plenty for my former employer).If you can't let go of that bitterness, you might as well move away entirely from their presence to another wire or independent.
5. Do you really want to be a business owner, or are you just pissed at WS? Being a business owner is no joke. You have to want it.
For me, after 6 months, no regrets at all about going independent or in using Finet as my platform.
Hope this helps.
Mar 3, 2009 1:30 pm
2. If you need seperation from the Wachovia brand, pay $1,000 upfront and $20/month and get your logo on all statements, confirms, etc. Looks quite sharp. The client has to look hard to see any mention of Wachovia. (However, in the era of Madof, et al, beware of unintended consequences. You may not like the Wachovia brand, but your clients may be comforted by seeing that name on their statements).
 
What??? They offer custom branding of statements and confirms? After being here 5 years I am amazed I don't know this.
Mar 3, 2009 8:28 pm

Good discussion all.  Does anybody know if there are ANY penalties / disincentives to move out of finet once you are in.... say to use it as a transition to another independent?  Is it TRULY your book at that point?  Anything in the contract that says you have to stay with Finet for any certain period of time?

Mar 3, 2009 8:37 pm

Why are you just looking inside WS to move? If a move is to get rid of the "brand name" or because you're not happy with management, FINET does not address the underlying problem. You are still just an "A" number.



We are looking at several of the Regionals. They are the new upcoming brokerage service company because of all the headline news of the banks and the major wirehouses. Oddly enough, I was talking about one of them and the President wanted to talk to us but they were away on a Recognition Trip with their top advisors, not one article or media coverage about it in the news. It's a publicly traded company as well. Meanwhile, I assuming all WS trips have been cancelled even though I have not received confirmation as of yet.



If it is truly the name that you despise to work for, the have enough confidence in yourself to make the leap of faith and move.

Mar 3, 2009 11:45 pm
eggman:

Good discussion all.  Does anybody know if there are ANY penalties / disincentives to move out of finet once you are in.... say to use it as a transition to another independent?  Is it TRULY your book at that point?  Anything in the contract that says you have to stay with Finet for any certain period of time?

 
Its your book. There is no contractual obligation to stay with Finet for any length of time. However, if you receive a transition package or are already under a retention bonus from the AGE deal, you would be obligated to repay those amounts if you left prior to the forgiveness period expiring.
Mar 3, 2009 11:47 pm

Hey eggman, be careful with the assumption that you can take your book to Finet without the guys at your former branch hitting on your clients.  The clients must sign an agreement to go with you to Finet.  Clients not moved within 30 days of your departure can be given to brokers in your former branch.  There is no utopia!

Mar 3, 2009 11:51 pm
BL6:

[quote=training wheels  

 
I have been at Finet for 5 years. Your payout will NOT get much passed 75% ANY year after the nickel and diming take their toll. Pay especially close attention to the impact of "fee-based admin fees". They like to claim that fee-based is a 90% payout but it is definitely NOT.
 
Also a clarification on the branding. The only place you will be able to use YOUR brand with any prominence will be biz cards, stationary, envelopes and signage. ALL performance reports, confirms, statements and prospecti will show Wachovia Securities errr Wells Fargo Advisors, loud and proud. In the past I would have said there were a lot of positives to Finet, but I no longer have confidence in any part of the firm. That being said...I agree that it is a logical step to going completely indy down the road. Consider it a stepping stone. HOWEVER, IMO this crap they are trying to lay on us about 4front and Envision are designed to make the assets sticky and more difficult to move in the future.
 
Wheels - are you sticking or looking?
 
 
 
 [/quote]
 
We are investigating EVERY possible option right now. Best case scenario is staying indy somehow, but the fact is we have a capital problem due to the market. Need something to bridge the gap during this downturn. I am astounded that Finet didn't recognize this dilema. I can understand the position of not paying "retention" to Finet owners, but they could have offered a new set of working capital loans or something. This deal with 4front and envision is too far off to matter for us.
 
What are your plans?
Mar 4, 2009 10:13 am

I have heard a rumor that Wells Fargo has no interest in the independent channel and is shedding Finet division. 

Mar 4, 2009 10:31 am
FormerMD:

I have heard a rumor that Wells Fargo has no interest in the independent channel and is shedding Finet division. 

Hey moron! Are you even aware that they already have a quasi independant channel thru WFC?