Ben Edwards Interview

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Dec 8, 2008 10:28 am

Simply a great man. I will always be proud to say I was blessed to have been able to work with Ben and the amazing company his family built.

 
http://stlouis.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2008/12/08/story1.html?b=1228712400%5e1742967&page=1     
Dec 8, 2008 11:13 am

So what is the story with his son's new company, Benjamin F Edwards and Co??

Dec 8, 2008 1:33 pm

i read that last night, then photocopied it for everyone in my branch (WS).  Mr. Edwards seems like an honest businessman and a gentleman.  Someone like he, who practices such good capitalism, in an industry as tainted as ours, should be knighted. 

 
Wachovia doesn't have a Mr. Edwards...
Dec 8, 2008 2:36 pm

Perhaps its up to us to follow his example to foster the Legacy AGE culture no matter who we are affiliated with.

Dec 8, 2008 2:46 pm

it is without a doubt.  unfortunately, you and i don't have enough votes to promote and maintain such a culture. 


yikes, i'm a ray of sunshine today.

Dec 8, 2008 2:48 pm

There aren't many businesses in this industry that have a Mr. Edwards.  AGE was one company from which I would actually take a recruiters call.   In fact, I got the transfer broker package with the benefits and other stuff in the mail the same week AGE got sold to WB.  It seemed like it would have been a great company to work for.   

Dec 8, 2008 3:50 pm

People like Ben interest me greatly.

 
I was offered a job by one of AGE's successful managers a few months prior to their sell off to Wachovia. Interestingly enough, I did not take the job simply because the manager would not put down his offer in writing; It was a matter of trust he said. Buyout withstanding, I wonder if I made a mistake rejecting the mentality that Ben describes in this interview.
 
Regardless, Mr. Edwards is an Indiana Jones amidst a sea of snakes.
Dec 8, 2008 4:29 pm

Great man. ... But isn't it amazing that he kept all of his estate in one investment.


Dec 8, 2008 4:46 pm

I'm never amazed at the things wealthy people do.  He ran an investment firm that gives financial advice, but evidently didn't feel strongly enough about the advice his firm was giving to follow it.  Strange. 

 
Hopefully he has a very large life insurance policy. 
 
Did anyone else notice the comment about it taking 15-20 minutes to get to talk with someone in person?  Wouldn't you think he would have his own FA or personal banker.  I would think when he calls and says This is Ben Edwards, that someone would jump.     
Dec 8, 2008 4:59 pm

I kinda woulda thought he would have ACATed to Tad by now.  Isn't he up and running?

Dec 8, 2008 7:53 pm

Of course we can and should all take his attitude of putting the client first, but Ben Edwards had a lot to do with the AGE culture. 

Dec 11, 2008 6:49 pm
buyandhold:

Great man. ... But isn't it amazing that he kept all of his estate in one investment.


The buyout was 35$ in cash and 1 share of WB for each AGE share.  The cash took some of the pressure off to sell WB.

 
Ben is a great guy and we worked at the best brokerage firm in the industry at the best time for the industry. We were very blessed and successful running things customer first, then employees then shareholders. WB has reversed the order clearly.
Dec 11, 2008 7:37 pm

AGE isn't everything many of you would make it out to be. A good friend of mine worked for them about 15 years ago. He really got screwed by the manager of his office who pulled his SA so he could have the SA work full time for his(the BOM's) daughter who was a newly minted trainee. The daughter got 100% of the leads/walk-ins/inherited accounts. The daughter was also given a sizable slice of pop's biz so she looked to be a super star trainee. My buddy tried to move to another office. Big problem! He had two choices. Door number one was an office of a penny stock firm that Edwards had bought in-kind. It was managed by two ex first Jersey brokers who used their positions as co managers to enrich themselves by taking almost 100% of everything that came their way. Again, that would be leads/walk-ins/inherited accounts. They fired countless FCs and took their books. Truly the fastest and easiest way to become a million dollar producer. Edwards stood by and watched. Even as the NYT did a story on that office pointing to them as the poster boys for rogue brokers Ben did nothing. So, door number one wasn't really an option. Door number two, an AGE office 20 miles in the other direction turned my buddy down because of his then low production of about 150K. He then gritted his teeth, put his head down and swam against the tide for two years doubling his production. He then left AGE and hasn't looked back. Currently his production stands at almost 900k.


So AGE not so hot. Or, at the least, no different than any place else. So much depended on who your manager was.
Dec 11, 2008 7:43 pm

BondGuy,
 Think whatever you want about the firm. I will personally defend Ben Edwards, though. This thread was started about him and he is a man above reproach. I believe I'll get some backing here on that.

Dec 11, 2008 8:24 pm
BondGuy:

AGE isn't everything many of you would make it out to be. A good friend of mine worked for them about 15 years ago. He really got screwed by the manager of his office who pulled his SA so he could have the SA work full time for his(the BOM's) daughter who was a newly minted trainee. The daughter got 100% of the leads/walk-ins/inherited accounts. The daughter was also given a sizable slice of pop's biz so she looked to be a super star trainee. My buddy tried to move to another office. Big problem! He had two choices. Door number one was an office of a penny stock firm that Edwards had bought in-kind. It was managed by two ex first Jersey brokers who used their positions as co managers to enrich themselves by taking almost 100% of everything that came their way. Again, that would be leads/walk-ins/inherited accounts. They fired countless FCs and took their books. Truly the fastest and easiest way to become a million dollar producer. Edwards stood by and watched. Even as the NYT did a story on that office pointing to them as the poster boys for rogue brokers Ben did nothing. So, door number one wasn't really an option. Door number two, an AGE office 20 miles in the other direction turned my buddy down because of his then low production of about 150K. He then gritted his teeth, put his head down and swam against the tide for two years doubling his production. He then left AGE and hasn't looked back. Currently his production stands at almost 900k.


So AGE not so hot. Or, at the least, no different than any place else. So much depended on who your manager was.
Bagby was probabley the director of branchs back then, so it would have been his responsibliity, if th regional didn't handle it.  Every firm has a few bad managers.
Dec 11, 2008 9:04 pm
mnbondguy:
BondGuy:

AGE isn't everything many of you would make it out to be. A good friend of mine worked for them about 15 years ago. He really got screwed by the manager of his office who pulled his SA so he could have the SA work full time for his(the BOM's) daughter who was a newly minted trainee. The daughter got 100% of the leads/walk-ins/inherited accounts. The daughter was also given a sizable slice of pop's biz so she looked to be a super star trainee. My buddy tried to move to another office. Big problem! He had two choices. Door number one was an office of a penny stock firm that Edwards had bought in-kind. It was managed by two ex first Jersey brokers who used their positions as co managers to enrich themselves by taking almost 100% of everything that came their way. Again, that would be leads/walk-ins/inherited accounts. They fired countless FCs and took their books. Truly the fastest and easiest way to become a million dollar producer. Edwards stood by and watched. Even as the NYT did a story on that office pointing to them as the poster boys for rogue brokers Ben did nothing. So, door number one wasn't really an option. Door number two, an AGE office 20 miles in the other direction turned my buddy down because of his then low production of about 150K. He then gritted his teeth, put his head down and swam against the tide for two years doubling his production. He then left AGE and hasn't looked back. Currently his production stands at almost 900k.


So AGE not so hot. Or, at the least, no different than any place else. So much depended on who your manager was.
Bagby was probabley the director of branchs back then, so it would have been his responsibliity, if th regional didn't handle it.  Every firm has a few bad managers.
My sister's gardener's best friend's synthetic tanning consultant has it on very good authority that Bagby was seen taking paperwork in with him to see Robert Brennan in prison.  It looked like incorporation paperwork.  Or maybe a chain letter, she wasn't sure.
At any rate, she confirmed that they, along with a very helpful prince from Nigeria, are up to something.
Dec 11, 2008 9:08 pm
My best friend's sister's boyfriend's<br> brother's girlfriend heard from this<br> guy who knows this kid who's going<br> with a girl who saw Ferris pass-out<br> at 31 Flavors last night. I guess<br> it's pretty serious.<br><br>Where is Ferris when we need him?<br><br>
Dec 11, 2008 10:07 pm

Seriously, though.  Ben is currently, and was at the helm, the real deal.  Had the privilege of meeting him a few times over the last 2 or 3 years he was in charge, and it was always amazing how easy it was to talk with him.  No layer of pretension or Ivory Towerism.  The best to him and the family.  Proud to have carried their name on my stuff for many years.

Dec 11, 2008 10:12 pm

Amen, beemer. When I read the article, I did not even know that he was sick. I was profoundly and sadly moved to read it. 

Dec 11, 2008 11:33 pm

Ben Edwards did amazing things when he was at the helm of AGE.  I met him when I was in High School - years before joining that firm - and that experience helped me make that decision.  He really represented the culture at AGE that died when WS bought them out.  He gave a very impassioned speech to the shareholders urging them to vote against that merger.  Even he couldn't make an argument that would stand up to the cash.