Any truth to the rumors of BAC bringing advisors back to the branch?

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Jun 20, 2010 3:37 pm

Couldn't believe what I heard from a colleague of mine. Although I began to believe him when a recruiter left me a VM regarding an opportunity with a large bank in my area...

 Seriously what a clusterfuck this whole ML/BAC merger has been.

So what type of handcuffs are going to be bestowed upon BAC advisors in the branch. Is it a reduced account value? Anything over 250K to ML reps? What will their product menu consist of?

Total fail to yank advisors out of the branch then reinstate them within 12 months...

Jun 20, 2010 6:38 pm

I agree on how much of a clusterbomb this has been.  As far as that rumor is concerned, I highly doubt it.  If anything they will put below average advisors in the branches with a very mediocre salary to identify opportunites for ML advisors.  If you were a BAI adviosr you might as well cut your check now.  When was the last time you got a lead or opened a new account.  It's funny even when I get the updates from management every morning about ML advisors raising assets its a joke.  Dont get me wrong there are some serious succesful advisors at ML that know how to run the business but 95% of them just sit around with there 10-15yrs LOS doing 350 - 400k.  US Trust will eventually be dismantled or sold, and ML brokers are going to hate ML Edge.  Once they start advertising free trades, ML clients will come out of the wood work looking to open those accounts.  This event will go down as a case study at Harvard as "what not to do".     PS  Every time they bring Sallie Krawchecks name up they always start with "the press loves her".   Well the press might love her, but if she was such an asset is their a reason why she sat on her ass for a whole year.  She even jokes her self by saying she got bored sitting around in her pajamas all day.   She is a pawn, like the woman CFO from Lehman.  

Jun 20, 2010 7:43 pm

I had a client call last week regarding Merrill Edge.  Management has yet to tell us about it.  That was a fun conversation.

Jun 20, 2010 8:23 pm

Here is something Ml Advisors need to get used to:  When your client signs into his online ML account, there will be a huge banner that says "Click Here To Stop Paying Commision", just like it says on BAI online accounts for full service accounts.  The mere fact that it is free if you have over 25k will create brand erosion.  Looks like they are going to bring the ML brand down to the levels of fidelity, schwab, and etrade after the market the hell out of it. 

Jun 21, 2010 4:52 pm

ask any BAI advisor how many real relationships they lost over the $0 trades.  If you are still competing on price against discount brokers ...your clock is ticking

Jun 21, 2010 5:04 pm

Yes I do not beleive you will loose real relationships however a client could keep 1 million lets say in managed with you but move his transactional account to Edge so he is not paying 1% annualized to do as much tradng as he wants, or just take advantage of keeping evrything householded but hace an account he uses to trade for free.  It will not be a huge impact but I do belive there will be some attrition lost to this.  The mere fact that the opportunity exists for a client to have the option suggested by your own company just sucks period. 

Jun 22, 2010 9:45 pm

Gruntal'd, I did over 1 mil 2 years ago, lucky to do 600k this year because of change in business model (small household). The place sux, payout will be slashed next year under 500k and soon no pay on 250k and under. just wait.

Jun 22, 2010 10:11 pm

What would stop a client from leaving 100m in fee based and move the rest, 1mm for example, to EDGE and just mirror the advisor's recs for free?

Jun 24, 2010 9:55 am

In case I missed something no one has heard anything about BAI putting reps back into branches right?

Guess my associate was either full of crap or had no idea wtf he is talking about. And I still haven't called the recruiter back so i'm relying on you guys.

Jun 29, 2010 12:18 am

1.  Merrill Edge and the $0 trade will be a non-issue.  Like Gruntal'd said, if your revenue is based on stock transactions, then you're already in trouble.  I liked having a discount brokerage (Quick & Reilly or BAI Self-Directed) along with the full-service platform.  It was easier to tell my client with his $50k play money to set up a separate discount account with me than it was to have him go to Scottrade or Fidelity. 

1A. Someone with $1 million that wants to trade stock is not going to waste his time mirroring the typical FA's buy and hold strategy with ML research.   They'd prefer to lose their money with their own research.

2. Upper management claims that the bank reps in test markets are doing well.  I've heard differently from the trainers in Charlotte.  The referrals go to FAC where it's supposed to get triaged.  The investment reps in the branches are NOT licensed so all they can do is ask generic questions.  Pretty much useless at finding the big money unless someone just walks in with their $500k cd that's matured.

Jun 29, 2010 7:59 am

true. Referrals from the FAC have been awful, all they can do is wait for walk in's, not allowed to probe or make any outgoing calls. Can not market services to exixting bank clients etc.

Jun 29, 2010 12:49 pm

[quote=BACFA]...1A. Someone with $1 million that wants to trade stock is not going to waste his time mirroring the typical FA's buy and hold strategy with ML research.   They'd prefer to lose their money with their own research...[/quote] It has nothing to do with "wanting to trade stocks" and everything with reducing fees from

$1,000,000 X 1.0% = $10,000 per year

vs

$100,000 X 2.0% = $2,000 per year

Jul 1, 2010 5:06 pm

I heard this same thing a month ago on a call.  The way it sounded was that they are going to make Merrill the HIGH end and drop the lower producers into bank branches if they cannot get above a certain number.  No specifics, but itt was mentioned on the call as the next thing coming and there might be folks in the 200k range looking for a new home.

Jul 22, 2010 10:35 am

[quote=4$$$]

Gruntal'd, I did over 1 mil 2 years ago, lucky to do 600k this year because of change in business model (small household). The place sux, payout will be slashed next year under 500k and soon no pay on 250k and under. just wait.

[/quote]

So - you did over $400k on accounts less than $100k (or actually, $75k if you are legacy BAI), including Bank balances?  I dont buy it - unless you are on the South Shore...

Jul 22, 2010 9:07 pm

South shore jersey? Frank?

Jul 28, 2010 3:27 pm

Barney

Jul 28, 2010 6:15 pm

bingo