HELP: Need advice/guidance regarding move from EDJ to Chase

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Jun 19, 2010 1:19 pm

Hello everyone.. long time listener, first time caller. I am looking fof some advice/guidance regarding a move from EDJ to Chase.  I have currently worked 3 years for Jones and am badly needing a change.  I HATE doorknocking, but really do enjoy servicing and building relationships.  As many of us know, when you work at Jones the only real career path is becoming a GP (which will never happen for me) and I really would like the opportunity for advancement down the line.  That said, here is where I need some guidance.

1)  I am being told that I can have two branches.  Fact is, I have no real clue what that means for me.  I do understand my responsibility is to get money invested from the vault as well as gather new assets.  Furthermore I am being told that if I do not make in excess of 100k my first year "you are doing something wrong".  Call me jaded from these Jones colored glasses....but I have heard that one before.

2) As far as products, I understand that I will have a large array of A,B,C share mutual funds (not just JPMorgan funds), managed accounts, Variable annuities, Fixed Annuities, etc.  So, what is the real scoop?

3) I have stressed the importance of furthering my education.  Chase assured me that they will help me with costs incurred if I would like to attain my CFP and/or MBA.  This is of huge value to me, but can I believe it?

4) Although I am being told that Chase really does not care about my current book of business, I can bring whoever would like to come with me (even if that means I keep some of my out of state clients).  So, if my current clients would decide to come with me, do I have the luxury of eating transfer / IRA fees that I had at Jones?  Also, would it be in the best interests of my current clients to follow me (just want to make sure I am able to still offer them service and provide quality products).

Basically....I am taking the job no matter what.  I need to get off Jones island, and at this point I don't care if its via cruise liner or even the S.S. Minnow.  I am looking to hear some honest opinions / experiences so I can make the move with realistic expectations.

Jun 19, 2010 9:30 pm

Look around, I am a 7 year Jones guy going independent. (segment 4). Try and get away from the corporates, if you can. They are all going to be the same in the long run.

Jun 19, 2010 11:26 pm

I have experience with Chase so here are my thoughts:

[quote=thedingoinside]

1)  I am being told that I can have two branches (one with 100mil, and one with 15mil of deposits).  Fact is, I have no real clue what that means for me.  I do understand my responsibility is to get money invested from the vault as well as gather new assets.  Furthermore I am being told that if I do not make in excess of 100k my first year "you are doing something wrong".  Call me jaded from these Jones colored glasses....but I have heard that one before.

Two branches with 100MM and 15MM in deposits. Those are obviously branch deposits. Almost if not more important would be to find out what your current book of business looks like. How much Investment AUM do those two branches currently have? Did the rep recently move and can you consequently expect a portion of those assets to leave? Are those investment assets locked up in fixed/variable annuities that are in surrender or underwater relative to their living benefits? All important questions. The branch assets are noteworthy but by no means what I'd base my decision on.

As far as making 100k your first year - it depends on how you build your book. The opportunity is definitely there but the way you structure your book has a lot to do with it.

2) As far as products, I understand that I will have a large array of A,B,C share mutual funds (not just JPMorgan funds), managed accounts, Variable annuities, Fixed Annuities, etc.  So, what is the real scoop?

All true - it has a strong menu of investment products from multiple fund managers and annuity companies. Their managed account program well run. The discretionary portion leaves a bit to be desired but overall its a strong program.

3) I have stressed the importance of furthering my education.  Chase assured me that they will help me with costs incurred if I would like to attain my CFP and/or MBA.  This is of huge value to me, but can I believe it?

No experience here. I'm sure they'd at least be willing to accomodate some of the expense associated with these goals.

4) Although I am being told that Chase really does not care about my current book of business, I can bring whoever would like to come with me (even if that means I keep some of my out of state clients).  So, if my current clients would decide to come with me, do I have the luxury of eating transfer / IRA fees that I had at Jones?  Also, would it be in the best interests of my current clients to follow me (just want to make sure I am able to still offer them service and provide quality products).

I would imagine they'd love for you to bring your clients over. I personally wouldn't have a problem bringing clients over if I were you. As I mentioned the product menu is pretty strong so I don't see why you wouldn't encourage your exisitng clients to join you.

Basically....I am taking the job no matter what.  I need to get off Jones island, and at this point I don't care if its via cruise liner or even the S.S. Minnow.  I am looking to hear some honest opinions / experiences so I can make the move with realistic expectations.

[/quote]

Overall its a good firm and a better than average bank platform. You absolutely deal with corporate BS. Sometimes it gets bad. You just learn what to ignore and move forward. If I had one (okay two...) complaints, its this: The branch managers can be tools. I was from a heritage WaMu region and the WaMu managers are weak leaders. IMO, no chance they'd be hired under Chase standards. Whatever you think strong leadership consist of, these managers do not have. So potentially be prepared for that.

the second complaint has to do with the bankers. In most cases they are unbelievably unqualified and should be nowhere near the world of finance, retail or otherwise. Many of them have little to no concept of basic personal finance. They are basically trained parrots. Part of their compensation is to refer to you when appropriate. That is a hit and miss venture. Many are jaded with their lot in life and basically dog it during the week. If you plan on basing your success on your bankers, you will fail - guaranteed. This is not a sophisticated group you'll be surrounded by.

Otherwise Chase is a strong bank platform that will eventually enable you to make a good living. I don't think you'll be disappointed especially if you're coming from EDJ.

good luck!

Jun 20, 2010 1:53 pm

Thanks bluewire, your input is greatly appreciated.  Can you tell me how the base salary works at Chase in your market?  Also, I am located in Southern California, so I too would be located in a heritage WaMu region so thanks for your honesty.

Jun 20, 2010 3:31 pm

Salary for a newbie in CA is likely to be 3k guaranteed for 6 months, then dropping to 2800/mo thereafter. You're payout is guaranteed @ 30% for at least 12-18 months then its based on a trailing 6.

Its definitely nothing to hang your hat on. If you're proactive you should be able to generate income in excess of your base within 4-6 months.

If you want to know more specifics then message me.

Jun 20, 2010 8:50 pm

Is it possible to go from a support role (liscenced) in PWM to being a Chase retail FA?  I am curious since an individual would be switching lines of business and be working in a completely different capacity.

Jun 21, 2010 9:49 am

If I were making a move from Jones I would NEVER consider to move to Chase. Seriously, do you think it will really be better. Gotta go Indy if you are going anywhere.

Jun 21, 2010 10:52 am

He should go to a bank, he already admitted he doesn't like prospecting..

Jun 21, 2010 2:40 pm

Although I do appreciate the responses, let me reiterate that yes I understand going independent would be ideal.  That said:

1) my book of business is not large enough

2) I hate prospecting

3) I am looking for advancement opportunities beyond production (would like to pursue my MBA then perhaps my CFA), which obviously only a corporation such as JPMorganChase can provide

Although many of you probably feel like I am taking a step backwards (which I may be), please respect that it is a move I must make.  I am Jonesed out.

Jun 21, 2010 4:05 pm

I hear you about being jonesed out. First day back from my third regional meeting and I'm putting out resumes. What a freaking waste of time. I plan on retiring in less than 5 years and I just can't justify the time I'm putting in for the return I get. And I truly hate prospecting. So, best of luck to you. I won't be here long either.

Jun 21, 2010 4:13 pm

If the ultimate goal is to become an analyst, why not just skip the bank broker route and try to find a job that will allow you to pursue your goal of becoming an analyst?  You're in SoCal, right?  Why not see if you can get a job with Franklin Templeton or one of the other fund companies there?

Just an observation, but the CFA doesn't normally put you into a position to either work directly with clients or build relationships with them.  Really, neither does an MBA.  Both of those goals puts you in a 9-5 desk job dealing with spreadsheets and office politics.  It sounds to me like you really need to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.  Once you figure that out perhaps you can then make well informed, life changing decisions. 

Jun 21, 2010 4:45 pm

[quote=navet]

I hear you about being jonesed out. First day back from my third regional meeting and I'm putting out resumes. What a freaking waste of time. I plan on retiring in less than 5 years and I just can't justify the time I'm putting in for the return I get. And I truly hate prospecting. So, best of luck to you. I won't be here long either.

[/quote]

Just got back from my 4th regional.  Was sort of unimpressed.  For the first time I am starting to see/hear dissatisfaction from a lot of the spouses.  They seemed to really pile on the awards this year, and it is hard to explain to a spouse why "some things are not as they appear".  For example, they handed out "new account" awards at the intro spouses meeting.  What was abundantly clear (since I know many of the vets) was that many of the guys out 10 years, opening 10-15 new accounts per month, in reality, are really mostly opening new Advisory Solutions accounts and moving existing assets into them.  Not that I care what they are doing, but it's rather disingenuous when the firm holds these guys up as "new account machines".   

I could go on about all the silly awards, and even the one's I get just seem so silly and contrived.  It's almost embarassing.  But what is worse is looking at the faces of the spouses who's husbands didn't get any awards, while some get 3,4,5 different plaques.  And it doesn't matter that some of the awards are meaningless (recruiting award - seriously?? We're fukcing advisors for god's sakes), the point is that they see the same people go up time after time.  I guess I am just a bit sensitive to it right now since one of our good friends is not doing well, and his wife is sort of freaking out.  The regional meeting was just not a good experience this year for them (due to the reasons stated above).

Personally, I think milestone awards are fine (years of service, etc.).  But I think the overt focus on production and accounts is a little over the top when spouses are present.

Jun 21, 2010 5:32 pm

My wife hates that dinner.  Mostly because there is way too much beer and wine that is consumed, but also for some of the same reasons you mentioned.  I think she looks for reasons to get out of going to it.   

Is the account award a regional thing?  I know the firm has always given out the gold shovel to new FAs, but I don't remember an account opening award for the vets too. 

Jun 21, 2010 7:00 pm

thedingoinside... Congratulations for seeing some reality with your career.  Yo know I have been reading these posts for many years now. It amazes me how everybody tries to stand up and defend you soon to be employer. Im sure you took some time to evaluate just exactly what your current employer offers and the one you are considering. I hope you compared a few things that I think most w2 employees look at when considering employment opportunities. (existing/future employers) Things like what company offers the most Comprehensive Healt/dental/ vision plans and the cost to you and your family. Which company has the better 401k plans and company matches. What company offers paid sick/personal time. How many weeks paid vacation/time in service. I know in the Jones world these things dont matter. But as you progress and move your career forward these are fundamental things that W2 employees look for in selecting quality employers. Please look at your prospective employer and compare them to your current employer and see which one has better benefits for their employees. At the end of the day, unless you are a independent contractor these things should stand out and become a basis for your decision. Because everybody in this business is a W2 employee except the independents which provide those things if possible for themselves.

Jun 22, 2010 2:00 am

Spaceman,

I appreciate your candor, but realistically, you need either an MBA or a CFA to work in analytics at any large firm (or any firm in which I would feel comfortable being employed by).  My background and time at Jones would only allow me to be a wholesaler at a firm like FT, because I lack the needed analytical experience and/or education for such a role.  That said, I would prefer to stay employed while I work towards that goal.  I have starved enough at Jones and would prefer to not go back to the days of Top Ramen and Natural Light I experienced during my undergrad years.  Besides, its not that I hate production, just feel that maybe the bank channel may better fit my skillset (or lack thereof).  As for your smart a** comment about figuring out what I would like to do when I grow up, things can change, but I am taking a strategic, logical approach towards my future. 

Jun 21, 2010 11:02 pm

Production awards and length of service awards make a lot of sense. Don't think we ought to be giving out awards for number of accounts opened, except in the case of new FA's.