Can i take my book? {literally}

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Oct 11, 2006 8:51 pm

hi ...am considering moving from regional b/d to lpl/rj....had a few questions.. can i take my book..the one i have names and numbers on{literally} or does that belong to the firm...also i do not recall if i signed a non compete or what kinda contract i have with the firm{ it was 7 years ago and i was too green to care}...is there any way i can find out without raising any flags...and if i do..if i acat client forms within a day or two of resignation is that a good way to circumvent a tro.....any input would be much appreciated...i am primarily a bond guy and i have only talked to  lpl yet...read the whole rj vs lpl post and it was helpful..but for someone doin primarily fixed income retail...around 300k...would either be a good fit....
thank u ...

Oct 11, 2006 11:13 pm

name, yes. phone number, yes. address, yes. email, yes. SSN, ACCOUNT TITLES, ACCOUNT NUMBERS, STATEMENTS, ETC- not unless you are ready to lose you _ss!


Leave with class- call your clients over the weekend, and don't bad mouth your firm and you should be okay.


If you have ACATS forms dropping day two- then you pre-solicited and all it takes is ONE client to admit that and you are dead meat.


EVERYONE knows I am biased- but if you are looking at retail fixed income, why don't  you look at someone who has multiple inventories and access to the street with using BondDesk system?


I am not quite sure what LPL and RJ have for inventory but I know Wachovia FiNet uses Bond Desk- just a suggestion as you will see most of us have strong opinions about who we affiliate with-

Oct 12, 2006 10:04 am

jeno1000,


I came over from EJ in 2003 and have a cheat sheet of some things to do if you are coming over to Raymond James.  PM me if you want me to email it to you.  You need to fight fair...your old firm won't!


From what I hear, RJ has a better bond inventory than LPL, but my info. is a couple of years old.

Oct 12, 2006 10:07 am

oops...I meant to say:  You don't need to fight fair...your old firm won't.

Oct 12, 2006 12:47 pm

RJ has a good record of wins over EDJ

Oct 12, 2006 5:23 pm

As far as difference between RJ & LPL...my understanding is that RJ has bond inventory and LPL does not hold inventory, but rather goes to the street to find bonds.  Generally, the concensus is that this gives RJ an advantage over LPL on bonds, but it could also be a double-edged sword in my book, as the inventory bond prices may not be that great if the market moves against a company's bond inventory.  I don't do a lot of individual bonds, but for what I have done, I've been well satisfied with what LPL could find for me.  Probably the best indicator on bond pricing is to ask all of your candidates for pricing (with and without concessions) on a few common bond purchase and see how everyone stacks up.


Definitely do the due diligence trip to Tampa to see RJ's headquarters...I think you'll be impressed (I was even though I ultimately chose LPL).  Also visit LPL in San Diego if you haven't already.  These firms will fly you out and put you up in a nice motel on their dime and I believe that it is absolutely critical to visit each candidate before you make a decision.


...and on taking information with you...you're probaly OK taking name, address and phone number (things you can get out of a phone book), but I wouldn't take a doggone thing until you've selected your B/D and consulted with their legal counsel.


Good luck with your search...I very much enjoy life as an independent.

Oct 12, 2006 8:24 pm

hey guys thanks for the replies....to follow up this might sound dumb but how would the firm know/prove that u took more than just ph no's and names ...not that i intend to....but just wondering....{say u took ur book with u and it had names , numbers and account numbers...}also lpl kinda mentioned that their legal would aid me should something come up and i dont need my lawyer..how true is that..if i do get hit with tro ...and i have to hire a lawyer how much would that cost me....i am also tryin to move to a different city ..so in case of a tro do i need to come back to original city to attend any proceedings/arbitration....also this might be a question more for bond guys but looks like at regionals u can place a more generous mark up on bonds than say lpl...where max usually is 2 points...{they say depending on maturity but average kinda comes to under 2 points} is that true for all other places....i mean rj/wachovia etc or is lpl more conservative....i never even thought of wachovia before this discussion so thanks for that input....

Oct 12, 2006 9:05 pm

just another thought...i understand that with lpl u get to brand urself...so say ur xyz company...i am told that clients checks still have to be made out to lpl not ur brand name...wouldnt that be a little confusing...then whats the purpose of branding...if u safekeep securities at lpl....have clients make checks out to lpl....how r "u" independent...? i read the discussion on forming ur own ria....but isnt that only for fee based....if u r 95% commission oriented{mark up/mark down in my case} what would the best route be....from what i can gather ...indy model with b/d {lpl or rj} seems best....am i missing something here....

Oct 12, 2006 11:24 pm

Jeno1000,


You can brand yourself with both firms...I believe LP requires it.  They both also demand that the checks are written to the BD for compliance reasons.  I've chosen to use the RAJ name but a good buddy uses his own brand.


I think RJ has more syndicate offering but I could be wrong.  RJ also has MFD research and something called a Freedom acct. that is fee-based and has a mix of funds that are changed by the firm for your clients...if you want to go down that path.


Both firms have their pros and cons...you just need to find the one that fits the way you do or plan to do biz.

Oct 13, 2006 12:10 am

Leave with class. I ABSOLUTELY disagree with the comment to fight unfair- maybe when you are soliciting the business, but not by taking unauthorized stuff.


Don't worry about arbitration- you will need to give them a reason to go after you as it is less common and some firms even have protocol agreements to ensure a "clean fight" without the TRO/suit hassle.


Branding- are you the brand? Do you think you should be? If yes, then I know LPL and Wachovia FiNet allow it- don't know about Ray Jay.


A good firm will guide you though you are ultimately responsible for the liability and settlement. If it gets to that, then I've been told you can expect to pay 10-20% of your T-12. A good firm will loan you the money- or at least the one we chose will, though we are fortunate to be a protocol participant with them so it's a non-event.

Oct 13, 2006 12:31 am

jeno, I didn't face any TRO when I left, but I know another guy who left employment for LPL, was hit with a TRO, and yes, LPL did hire the lawyer and assist with legal/settlement fees.  If this guy is to be believed, LPL was very generous in sharing the costs of the legal action (they were also named in the action).  In my friend's case, the suit was filed in the B/D's city/state, but my friend never had to appear...LPL's atty appeared on behalf of him and it was settled prior to arbitration.  Incidentally, arbitration was to be held close to the rep's home turf if it happened.


On the name issue, LPL will allow you to use their name, but I wouldn't use anyone's name but mine.  It's not that hard to explain that your B/D has custody of all assets and thus, the checks must be written out to them.  If you use your name, and later decide to change B/Ds, the transition in the client's eyes is much less dramatic since your name doesn't change.


Finally, if you're 95% commission based, then no, an RIA makes no sense for you.

Oct 13, 2006 7:35 am

I left a bank many years ago and it was smooth.  However, they
withheld about $12,000 from my final pay becasue all of the annuities I
placed my last month of employement were issued after I left. 
They were required to pay me for them, but refused.  I called the
managing director himself, and he told me he was well aware they owed
me that money and if I wanted it to pursue legal action...the cost of
which would likely exceed the pay.  I was blown away with his
statement.  I did, and I got it back along with my legal
costs...it took 9 months, but that was the mentaity of bank
management.  I fell out of line so I was to be punished like a
puppy peeing on the carpet.

Oct 13, 2006 2:52 pm

I haven't dealt with LPL specifically, but you're probably on the right track by dealing closely with the firm's transition people.

With one exception... hire your own attorney.  Now.  You're starting a business and entering into a contract.  You should have an attorney involved from the beginning.  (Be sure it's somebody who understands the way our industry works).

If you were going to another wirehouse, I'd tell you to call me. 
However, there are lots of other recruiters who work just with indy
firms.  If one of them was involved with finding you, then they can also be another good source of information about the transition.  Don't let them take their fee and run.  Make them earn it by helping you every step of the way.

Finally, every hiring manager I've ever worked with tells me that they want a classy, but fast, transition.  There may be an exception if they know your old BOM is a psycho or something.  But when in doubt, do the classy thing.  Make sure that everybody knows that this is business, not personal.






Oct 13, 2006 3:00 pm

Well said Jeff. I usually refuse to work with recruiters because 99% of the time, I don't find them to do anymore than drop me a name, a poor/fair profile, and then wait for the big check.


I like how you approached this issue and answered the question with an emphasis on making the recruiter the consultant- something I try to be to my prospects as well.  You will be getting a call from me-

Oct 13, 2006 3:42 pm
rightway:

I left a bank many years ago and it was smooth.  However, they withheld about $12,000 from my final pay becasue all of the annuities I placed my last month of employement were issued after I left.  They were required to pay me for them, but refused.  I called the managing director himself, and he told me he was well aware they owed me that money and if I wanted it to pursue legal action...the cost of which would likely exceed the pay.  I was blown away with his statement.  I did, and I got it back along with my legal costs...it took 9 months, but that was the mentaity of bank management.  I fell out of line so I was to be punished like a puppy peeing on the carpet.


Sadly, that sounds like typical bank management to me.  For those of you still in the bank channel, I'll submit that 80-90% of you will eventually discover that the bankers in charge are jealous, greedy (and stupid, for that matter) people who are only interested in how much profit you generate for the bank.

Oct 13, 2006 5:00 pm

thanks guys..will keep u posted ...planning on a jan transition...seems like i have more questions every passing day.....if u r indy...u r not double taxed r u...one for urself and again for the corp{llc}...also in a b/d all phone calls to and from clients are recorded for both the rep's and the clients protection if u r indy and workin from home how do u arrange that...or is it necessary....lastly is working from home a good idea if ur a one man operation with more than 80% clients out of state....do u lose any credibility due to the fact...i can afford an office but just want to keep costs as down as possible during the initial months....

Oct 13, 2006 5:18 pm
jeno1000:

thanks guys..will keep u posted ...planning on a jan transition Wow...transitioning in January?!!  You are a glutton for punishment.  ...seems like i have more questions every passing day.....if u r indy...u r not double taxed r u...one for urself and again for the corp{llc} No...set up an S-corp and the earnings are passed through to you at the personal level...no corporate taxes.  Also, your SALARY is taxed for social security and medicare taxes, but the EARNINGS from your company passed through to you are not. So if you are netting $10,000/month, pay yourself $3,000/month and pass the rest through as earnings/owner withdrawals...this saves you a bunch in sicoal security/medicare taxes.  (Although I am a CPA, please clear all of this with your tax advisor, as I don't have sufficient information about your state domicile, etc. to say for sure that this will work for you).  also in a b/d all phone calls to and from clients are recorded for both the rep's and the clients protection if u r indy and workin from home how do u arrange that...or is it necessary How do you record conversations on your cell phone now?  Heck, I don't know if it's necessary or not...I guess it is if you get sued and are trying to prove something in a court of law.  Better to try to work with people who won't sue you.  ....lastly is working from home a good idea if ur a one man operation with more than 80% clients out of state....do u lose any credibility due to the fact...i can afford an office but just want to keep costs as down as possible during the initial months....That's a matter of opinion.  Some clients will care, some will not, but in any event, I would only do it temporarily.  Some others, such as Babbling Looney and joedabrkr work successfully from the home, but I would tell you that in most instances, it is a challenge to do so and maintain a professional atmosphere.  If you work out of your home, I would make it clear that you are in the process of securing office space, and I would also have a separate business line that is always answered professionally...preferably not by your 4-year-old. 

Oct 14, 2006 12:33 pm

I don't work from home. I have a very nice office in a professional office complex that houses a mortgage brokerage, a real estate office and a tax preparer. 


I did work from home for the first 6 months of transition while my office space was being remodeled.  You do lose credibility when you work from home IMHO.  My clients who came with me when I moved were understanding of the temporary situation, but it was permanent I don't think that they would have confidence in my long term prospects as a financial advisor. I hated it because my home never felt like my own personal space. My husband hated it because he couldn't come home for lunch without checking first to see if I had clients.  My business really picked up when I moved into my office and I felt better when I could separate my business from my personal space.


Phone calls were not recorded in the B/D I worked for before I became independent and they aren't now either.  I manually record notes about every conversation with clients in my customer contact program.  Take detailed notes of who, what, when, where and print them out every 6 months to put a hard copy in the client's files.


The S Corporation is a very good suggestion for managing your own taxes.

Oct 14, 2006 1:56 pm

Sorry, Babs...my bad memory.  For the record, I think Joe is looking at transitioning to outside office space also...


...bottom line is, I think professional office space is the best answer, but I think your clients would be OK with you working out of your house for awhile while you look for office space.

Oct 14, 2006 6:46 pm

I agree with Indyone- professionalism equates to an office- ie. the perception of a professional workplace. This probably depends on the clientele you are trying to attract but if it's affluent Americans- they don't want to see you in your pajamas (a little light humor, but you get my drift)