Hanging on to Departing Accounts

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Oct 25, 2008 6:27 am

Seems like we may be due for a mass exodus from many FAs to competitors.  Retaining accounts at the current firm is part of that process for the reps who stay. 

 
While this isn't a pretty part of the business, it's life, and I am sure those reps have benefited from getting accounts in the past as well.  Regardless, losing some of these accounts may not make the departing rep too upset because you know they will take their top accounts.
 
Anyhow, our firm does a "draft" of accounts similar to the NFL draft where the top reps pick first and then goes down from there.  What types of accounts would you look for to give you the best chance of retaining the account? 
 
 
 
 
     
Oct 25, 2008 7:26 am

your only message to those "draft picks" should be . . ."whatever decision you make will  be respected.  I just want you to know who your contact here would be." 

 
That way you don't get into a battle over people who want to leave with the departing broker.  you probably won't end up keeping them.  And you aren't being a dirtbag.
Oct 25, 2008 8:35 am

Conage has good advice. Don't be an ass as word gets around. You'll end up being branded a scumbag and we work in a tight industry. I know fcs who wouldn't be able to transfer to certain firms because they burned bridges.

Oct 25, 2008 11:14 am

It's silly to make a client feel unwelcome, but payback is a b----.  It's bad karma to go hard after another broker's clients.  It will probably happen to you at some point.

Oct 25, 2008 11:23 am

True, but it depends on how you do it.  Telling the clients they can stay and you will help them is one thing. 

Telling clients the other brokers left for a big check, they were about to be let go, questioning certain holdings and why the other broker sold that, etc.
 
That's bad karma and it happens all the time
Oct 25, 2008 11:25 am

I'll echo the "don't be the butt wipe" message here.  There are 3 AGE guys here in town that have made noise about wanting to leave and come look at RJ,  but they were so aggressive and obnoxious in slamming those of us that left a year ago and telling clients that we got a ton of money to move (incorrect), that RJ wasn't nearly as stable as Agechargo (how's that working out?), and that it was AGE that had done well for them, not us individually.  We've nixed any efforts by our regional guys to recruit them.  Recognizing that worked only with about 10% of the clients that we really wanted to take with us, it was still majorly irritating.  Don't be That Guy, because this will definitely come back around for you. 

Oct 25, 2008 11:47 am

Point taken, because the guys in question are sub Crest Club.  But we were impressed that the regionals came to us and said, "Ok, these guys are interested.  Tell us about them, what kind of business do they run, and could you be happy with them in your new branch?"  The really big hitters from our old branch are all top-notch guys and we'd welcome them, so your "what if" about a Chairman's/Pinnacle guy wouldn't be a problem.

Oct 25, 2008 12:24 pm

I'll agree that it's part of the business that your former colleagues will try to go after your clients when you leave.  I don't begrudge them from doing that.

But when someone is so desperate (and stupid) that they resort to fear-mongering and lies it's not only wrong, it backfires.  Only one scumbag took this approach when I left, and every single client was so repulsed by his tactics that he not only retained none of them, four different clients called me to ask if I wanted them to testify against him. 

There was no point in that as I lost nobody, but was a douche bag moron.  Going after clients is fine; resorting to sewer tactics isn't and will generally backfire anyway. 

Oct 25, 2008 3:14 pm

I think telling a client that a departing broker took a big check makes one look petty, like you are using every trick in the bag to get them to stay. I remember my ex degenerate boss telling a story about how Bob Bagby called a client whose fc just left to tell him "his broker left to enrich himself" and the client supposedly stayed. Good job, Bob!

 
Those that get real aggressive will have no other option than to stay where they are at because they'll be pariahs at other firms. The exception to the rule is when you are a huge producer. That trumps everything else when it comes to recruiting. You can be a compete ass, hated by anyone you come into contact with, and still get 200% TT to move.
Oct 25, 2008 3:37 pm

You know what, if I leave I will tell the client what happened. I would say I left (In WS's case) because of obvious reasons and that I am now at a firm that was like AGE used to be. And by the way, I had to pay back a loan at WS and the new firm gave me a bigger check to move. Isn't amazing what you can accomplish when you are upfront? What client wouldn't change jobs for more money and a better working environment?

 
Ideally Ferris, Danny and Co. take your advice from that other post and I don't have to deal with my own departure. I really don't want to. You have to admit WS is all over the road, especially in the last few months. I would think this would have even you scratching your head/doing your homework.
Oct 25, 2008 3:43 pm

I am doing no prospecting (I should, asset base is down and I need business) because I am trying to keep up with the existing client base. If I leave, at least there is goodwill to help my exit. Who the heck wants to get a cold call from a Wachovia Securities broker at this point?

"Sir, my parent company just lost 24 billion, would you like us to invest money for you?"
Oct 25, 2008 4:13 pm
Akkula:
Anyhow, our firm does a "draft" of accounts similar to the NFL draft where the top reps pick first and then goes down from there.  What types of accounts would you look for to give you the best chance of retaining the account? 
     
 
It's based on a point system.  Your BM will have the master list.  Mine shared the most recent one at the last monthly meeting.
Oct 25, 2008 5:46 pm
Ferris Bueller:

We can disagree, but as a client I would want to know WHY my broker left and I would certainly want to know that they took a huge check to do it. If the advisor is not being upfront with his clients then he is a jerk.


Isn't it equally relevant for the 'new' broker to disclose that he took a check to stay?

Oct 25, 2008 8:52 pm

It's kind of like the political ads we see, they probably are all true they just tell half the story. Would lose some of its luster if you said "Joe Blow got 100% tt for leaving and I only got 60% for sticking with WS". I wouldn't bring it up as it seems childish and serves no purpose. I wouldn't think that would sway a client but who's to say.

Oct 26, 2008 9:17 am

I've seen brokers (well, one in particular) send out scathing letters about the departing broker, just bashing them. What a pathetic move! Have some tact, that is what it comes down to.

Oct 26, 2008 10:04 am
Ferris Bueller:
Morphius:
Ferris Bueller:

We can disagree, but as a client I would want to know WHY my broker left and I would certainly want to know that they took a huge check to do it. If the advisor is not being upfront with his clients then he is a jerk.

Isn't it equally relevant for the 'new' broker to disclose that he took a check to stay?





Yep and that's exactly what I told clients. That I could have taken a check for 1.4M, but thought it was best to stay put and take something MUCH smaller.


Works for me.  When I left it was helpful with certain clients to be able to explain how the choices I considered impacted me, personally, from a financial standpoint: I could have stayed and kept a big check, gone to a competitor and received a bigger check, or gone independent and receive no check. 

Oct 27, 2008 4:58 pm

Act like a Professional even if your firm does not!