Citi PWM Exodus

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Nov 20, 2009 11:54 am

excitr1011: I would not be surprised if a lot leave today. And yes, I heard that clients remain under your rep code, but revenue goes into the team rep code (but can be individually tracked).



shantom1: Yes, I'm obviously being extreme, but I have seen plenty of those. The firm used the guideline of 40% of the FA's assets in VAs as being extreme (I'm going from memory, but pretty sure that was the number) and anyone over that needed a justification for being let on a team as to why we thought they would be a good match. They also needed justification if they had under a certain amount of fee-based business (I think $5MM, but not the number on the Focus report, the true fee-based assets).

Nov 20, 2009 12:01 pm

Some leave today. next Wed.. pre-Thanksgiving is likely to be bigger day. 4 day holidays are historically huge move dates and this one lines up perfectly for those who got to work 4-6 weeks ago on their options.    Biggest move date will be 12/17 or 12/18 just before FINRA goes dark for the holidays. 

Nov 20, 2009 12:06 pm

Here ya.  All being said I formally used the comment "they threw a grenade into the platform".  I have since changed it to "it is now a massive radioactive wasteland".

 
Anyone who is not preparing to leave regardless of the situation will be doomed to suffer the consequences.  Your only hope and prayer should never be "in the end Citigroup will do right by me"- that's the most contradictory statement maybe in history.  It's like a stock you know is going bk but you hang in there hoping an angel makes a huge offer and saves the day.  This isn't the lottery...
 
 
For those who still are not sure what they want to do I will offer one piece of advice.  This can be modified and used in many aspects in life- Ask yourself "would you today apply and take a job at the company"  If you do not answer a resounding yes (if you do- seek therapy), move on.
 
This works amazingly well when trying to do the hardest thing in investing- timing when you should leave a stock (winning or losing) "would I buy the stock today at these prices"...
Nov 20, 2009 12:15 pm

Here's something I've heard but wondering if anyone can verify.... Citi may EXIT the protocol and file very soon to do so.  IF this happens, the ramifications within the new team structure would be even more devastating.  I understand it takes 30 days from the time the firm files to the date they are out of the protocol agreement.   This would be the ultimate nail in the coffin to anyone stuck at the firm after the FINRA cut off date 12/18 if Citi were to file on or by 12/1 right?

Anyone hearing this???

Nov 20, 2009 12:27 pm

First I am hearing it.  It makes sense for a company winding down their business since only people who are hiring will want to participate...

 
WRITING IS ON THE WALL
Nov 20, 2009 12:54 pm

I've spent a lot of time on the thoughts of protocol and here's the thing... If they were going to leave protocol, they'd have been STUPID to not do it BEFORE announcing the changes. But, giving Citi the benefit of the doubt (because they really are stupid), let's just say that they didn't think about protocol until we directly asked them about it and that they now plan on exiting protocol.



Protocol only started in 2004. Did advisors never leave before this? No, and non-protocol only stops you from actively prospecting. Doesn't mean you can't call and let your clients know where you are...



Might be more difficult, but it's not going to stop a client who is likely to go with you from going, and a cease and desist is usually not the longest time-frame.



Also, with all the people that have already left, Citi needs to be able to recruit and non-protocol does not fit the model.



Oh, and it's not 30 days, it's only 10 days to exit protocol.

Nov 20, 2009 12:57 pm

Also, Burton, I've only heard this as a rumor from the outside. The inside (even though they may be liars) has said no, and they seem honest about it. (Again, they may be lying and I may be an idiot for staying, but I know my business and my clients and am confident that I can make it work either way).

Nov 20, 2009 1:00 pm

10 days.. got it. I've heard it only from people inside but it could just be one of the many half truths and rumors that make this board as interesting as it is at times.   IF Citi springs this on the troops, sounds like it would be a pretty big reversal. 

Nov 20, 2009 1:42 pm

now big rumors of Citi withdrawling from Protocol. This will difinatly restrict any of my clients ability to move with me.

Nov 20, 2009 1:51 pm

It's scary to think about and I almost split just thinking about it. It's not so much that I want to go, but the thought that I'm trapped and I have no choices. I don't like that feeling. But I thought about it more and realized what I posted last about it and don't feel that way anymore. I'm confident that no matter which way this goes, I can always leave and my good clients will always follow.



About your comment of "springing" it. I don't believe that they have to inform us that it's coming, just that it's done. And with 10 days anyway, letting us know wouldn't help too much.

Nov 20, 2009 5:47 pm

anyone hear of any departures?...

Nov 20, 2009 8:18 pm

If there is even a remote chance a firm would exit protocol, just given their pure attitude towards their reps who are the glue between the firm and clients of their lousy organization, why in the world would you even consider staying?



Moving is really hard - but not impossible. I don't judge, but unlike some recruiter or branch manager, I can empathize and see how a broker feels like "I'll wait until..." I know because I said the same thing. Feel bad for any FA stuck at these sinking old ships. Best thing to do - set a course, have a plan and organize, and do it. If you over think it, you'll sit around while they (management) continue to tighten the locks. Like a frog in a frying pan! You don't even realize the heat until it's all over.



Everyone of these big Tarp sucking firms works to undermine the FA / Client relationship - and that's just the way it is. The size and mid/upper mgmt. has just clouded what the business is about. They justify and rationalize their salaries and existence while squeezing the FAs and clients for lower payouts, higher admin/account fees. Watch 'em do everything they can to block the exit door more and more each business day. Not about making things better for clients or improving FA support because they screwed up. It's crytal clear guys and my sympathy if you can't see this. These forums are like looking back at a reflection of how I felt and how I was scared prior to leaving. Watch the Shawshank Redemption movie and that's how it feels to bust out.



Have a plan and get outta there. Life goes on.

Nov 25, 2009 3:38 pm

NEWS... 2 defections confirmed this afternoon.I have confirmed what I heard via FINRA.org  I hear a lot of offers are in the works or already out there with most of them good through 12/15. Movement will accelerate as larger Citi FAs realize now is the only time to move for those who will and can. FAs who hang around for months and into 2009 will find their 'teammates" making any chance to transition virtually impossible. Hiring authorities know this as well. The premiums in terms of transition packages will dive 2010 forward and Citi FAs will be very hard pressed to move clients once teamed and motion into RIA platform begins. 

Nov 27, 2009 3:58 pm

wheres the exodus? I, just like everyone else at citi would love to hear about more defections, but where is the mass exodus people predicted for Wednsday and today?Any more departures today? heres hoping for more..

Nov 30, 2009 6:34 pm

Couple of departures I hear. Not the huge exodus expected.

Dec 1, 2009 12:56 pm

DOES ANYONE KNOW how the focus report, going forward, will look like? will an FA on a team be able to show his or her individual AUM & production? or will all fall under Team Leader? If so, how would one show their numbers if they decide to move down the road?? If you can't show production and assets, no firm is going to hire...right??

Dec 1, 2009 1:29 pm

We'll be on a new platform at some point, so there will be no Focus report, as that is a Smith Barney report. Assets will still be under your own number. Revenue will go to a team number, so no idea how that will reflect on any report. They say it will be "tracked individually" but who knows what that means and if we can generate a report for it. I'm sure the new platform will have a similar report, but who knows what it will look like individually. Yes, I'm worried about this as well.



So, shorter answer: Assets=Yes / Revenue=who knows, but likely not (I don't think the higher-ups know this yet).

Dec 2, 2009 12:11 pm

2 major issues facing Citi FAs who move boldly into 2010 in the new Citi world.

1) Teams.... once part of a 'team', especially a forced teaming situation, life will simply not be remotely close to the way most FAs have become used to.  Most bank FAs have not been part of teams before and the wirehouse style teams that are so common now are very different than what Citi will have.  Just ask a wirehouse broker who was part of a team who then left the team to go to another firm how that went over.  I've known many who split up but stay at the same firm... in that case, life goes on, so what.   Those who split out of team, leave to another firm and 'try' to take 'their' clients are often lame ducks for a good few years. I've seen this literally screw up years of work. The intel and relationships with clients across the team really hurt their ability to move effectively. Managers know this when recruiting someone in this situation and it changes the game for sure.

2) Production reporting- once part of a team, breaking out and proving what is 'yours' and what 'comes with' etc becomes very cloudy. Sure, it wont' matter to a broker leaving in February so much. Hang around well into 2010 and ugly will be the scenario for the fool who realizes Citi is not for them at that point. Ever gotten in front of a hiring authority with team reports and vague if not impossible to understand individual reporting trying to prove what's yours and what comes with you if you move?  Managers see this all the time and again, it kills transition deals.  You'll feel like the Kmart blue light special when the 'deal' is put in front of you. 

At Citi, your clients are 'yours' today, but that'll change very quickly.  I commend anyone at C who has the stones to stay on for the long haul. You'll need them.

Dec 2, 2009 2:54 pm

I don't see a reason for panic... I also know that managers and recruiters may want to take advantage of the situation, ... Crappy situation for sure, leave if you must, but if your a good rep, I think you'll get a gig , now or in a couple months...

Dec 2, 2009 3:59 pm

Not for nothing, but take the blinders off- you don't want to be left when the party is over (and they just stopped the music).

 
There can be nothing good to happen for those who stay and the longer you wait the more competition you will have for deals when the time comes.
 
I feel bad for those still there, there is some remnant brainwashing effects in place.  I worked there for years and when I left and looked back I could not believe how evil an empire the place really is.  My assets under management have gone up 3 fold since I left mainly because I am in a place where there is no anti-business development arm calling all the shots...