David Lerner Associates

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Nov 13, 2008 11:32 am

Any opinion or comments about the company, its culture, operations, etc?

 
I'm halfway through the interview process.  They specialize in bonds and have a very conservative investing philosophy, which could be a good hook in the current market.
Nov 13, 2008 1:18 pm

Don't they require you to sell their 2 or 3 proprietary funds?  I met someone from there once, and it just seemed like a strange outfit.

Nov 13, 2008 3:04 pm

I don't know about any requirement, but they have a few proprietary REITs (Apple programs) that are fixed income investments that I know they like to push.  I'm a bit leery of locking myself into an organization that won't let me sell stocks, mutual funds, etc. (not sure if that's the case, but they stressed the conservative/bond/fixed income aspect of the company at the recruiting seminar I attended.

 
But can you expand on what you mean by a strange outfit?
 
On the positive side, I like that they do a lot of radio advertising in the NY Metro area.  At least they have some name recognition.
Nov 13, 2008 3:39 pm

When I say strange outfit, you sort of eluded to it.  They are very particular about their investment profile.  It is not open-architecture (as far as I know).  I think it is all about a strict investment program that you must follow, so you are basically selling a model.  I may be wrong, but it seems that is the case.

Nov 13, 2008 4:10 pm

I know someone who worked for them.  My understanding is that they primarily sell proprietary funds with multi-year CDSCs.  I can’t see how this is in the best interest of most clients.  Keep searching and find a quality firm with an open architecture who does not push one type of product over another.  I know that ML is still hiring.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


--WM

Nov 13, 2008 5:52 pm
WealthManager:

  I know that ML is still hiring.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 
Yeah?  I heard they weren't taking on news, they were looking to scoop up experienced guys getting shaken out in all this market upheaval.  Perhaps I'll try them; I have an app in at EJ as well.
Nov 13, 2008 7:26 pm

Shithole

Nov 13, 2008 8:59 pm
whalehunter:

Shithole

 
  Care to expand on that?  Know anyone that works there?
Nov 14, 2008 3:45 pm

I interviewed with them today, it was brief, only lasting 25 minutes or so because the branch manager had to run out on some important business or other.

 
It was fairly straightforward, they didn't bother with the inane questions designed to rattle you and see how you react under pressure.  None of the "List your three worst faults" nonsense or the "If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be" navel gazing.
 
Overall, I thought it went well.  The hiring manager asked me to contact him again on Monday.
 
But for the second time, he alluded to "working until 9pm a lot of nights."  Which matches another review of the company I read on Indeed.com, which said it's a coldcalling sweatshop where you can expect to coldcall 12 hours a day, 5 days a week.
 
Not sure what to make of it all.  But since they are 1:40 minute drive, there's no chance I'm getting home at 10:40pm every night.  I have a wife and kids - work is important, but my family is more important.
Nov 14, 2008 8:47 pm

[quote=jmatt]I interviewed with them today, it was brief, only lasting 25 minutes or so because the branch manager had to run out on some important business or other.

 Red flag there: Hiring is perhaps the most important decision a business makes.
Nov 14, 2008 11:10 pm

I repeat, SHITHOLE!

Nov 15, 2008 1:28 am
whalehunter:

I repeat, SHITHOLE!



+1

Nov 15, 2008 9:32 am

They saturate the NY area with radio ads. People call in, and the salespeople attempt to arrange a face-to-face meeting in the prospect's home. They then will try to sell their proprietary REITS and/or muni bonds and/or life insurance. That's it.
David "Poppy" Lerner smiles as you drive all over NY & NJ to people's kitchen tables to sell his wares. It's a sustainable business model for him - he's been in business for over 30 yrs, but most of his brokers (myself many yrs ago) leave after a while for a more professional venue.


Nov 15, 2008 3:41 pm
buyandhold:

Red flag there: Hiring is perhaps the most important decision a business makes.

 


Maybe.  I dunno.  I thought it went okay.  Maybe I wasn't as malleable as he was looking for or something.
Nov 18, 2008 5:20 pm

Just as a finale to the thread, I had a follow-up conversation with the hiring manager (he called me) and while he said the interview went well enough, he didn't think it was realistic to expect me to work until 9pm, me being more than an hour away.  I told him I agreed.