How many clients will come w/ me?

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May 23, 2009 12:37 am

Taking a serious look at leaving AGEWACHAFARGO.  We are obviously very concerned about the number of clients we will take with us.  Traditionally, the average conversion ratio seems to be around 80% in a normal market, and less in a bad one.  However, I have averaged at least one client a week for the last 2 months that has asked me to leave WS because they are not happy.  One of my largest clients told me straight out that he distrusts WS so much that he had started interviewing other advisors.  We lost a newer client today (6 month relationship) because they didn't like the hoops that WS is making them go through (details are too much to get into here).  Point is, I am going to lose clients if I stay, and if I leave.  I just want to get a feel for what to expect upon leaving.

So, what is everyone else seeing in thier branches when an advisor leaves?  Is it 60%, 70%, 90%, or 30-40% like our Regional is trying to scare us with?  Quick or slow?  WS throwing the book at the advisor, or being nice?

As a side note, my senior partner thinks he is being followed by a PI.  Have heard of WS doing it to other big producers.  Makes you nervous...

May 23, 2009 2:47 am

There is no possible way anyone on here can offer you an answer with suitable accuracy. We don't know you. We don't know your relationships.



I took everything I wanted. No problem. Some surprises...but not many.

May 23, 2009 6:11 am

I was in your shoes and left within the last year. I would estimate I got 90%. I think it's easier to move from where you are versus say a Merrill where the clients are more attached to the firm. You'll do fine, it's a big hassle to move, you'll probably be glad you did...same story most fc's have. Feel free to PM me with specific questions.

May 23, 2009 8:01 am

Why don't you use some common sense, CommonSense? 

May 23, 2009 10:40 am

More than anything else, how many you take with you is gonna

depend on the following question? Are your clients more

attached to you or to your firm?

May 23, 2009 10:45 am

I left in Jan, and I have 80-90% of assets over at this time...it was much easier than I had expected it to be with the market etc. Only 3 A clients didnt move and 2 of those are due to health issues that cropped up after my move, so in time they will move.

Alot depends on your relationships and of course where you move...if you gor from WS to BAC/ML or MC/SB I wouldn't expect the skeptical ones to move...if you go to a regional or Indy I think you will have more follow, your reasoning for moving makes alot more sense in teh latter case.

May 23, 2009 12:17 pm
CommonSense:

One of my largest clients told me straight out that he distrusts WS so much that he had started interviewing other advisors. 



 
This is ridiculous.  Why would clients leave you and the relationship they've built with you because they don't trust the firm?  What impact does the firm have with the client that would overpower the relationship you've built with the client?  Do they get their monthly statements 3 days later each month than they would prefer? 
May 23, 2009 12:57 pm

I don't know, I would think that AIG falls into a different category of public opinion than Wells Fargo.  Theres a sector (probably the majority) of the population that views AIG and their employees as felons.  I don't think people have that same view of many other financial companies, WFC and WB included.

May 23, 2009 2:24 pm
3rdyrp2:
CommonSense:

One of my largest clients told me straight out that he distrusts WS so much that he had started interviewing other advisors. 



 
This is ridiculous.  Why would clients leave you and the relationship they've built with you because they don't trust the firm?  What impact does the firm have with the client that would overpower the relationship you've built with the client?  Do they get their monthly statements 3 days later each month than they would prefer? 



TO the MOST loyal of clients that may be true but to a greater majority they may still love you but be concerened over the direction of the firm...which we as FA's have no control, other than leaving. I have had several clients transfer additional asset to me since I moved to Stifel that they flat out told me they would not have given to Wachovia/Wells. I also gained a client back that transferred out last year at the height of teh Wachovia debacle

May 23, 2009 3:31 pm
iceco1d:

nor did I pull the "why would you trust your hard-earned money with a company that can't even manage its own!" bit...totally initiated by the client).  



Dang Ice, that almost sounded rehearsed

May 23, 2009 6:11 pm

I went from AGE to Merrill.    2 WAY different firms.   90% of who I wanted came along.  Even now, almost 2 years later and the news about ML and BAC, I am still getting transfers.

It is about you, not the firm. 
May 23, 2009 7:29 pm

I think Merrill is the hardest to leave and retain large persentages.  Wells Fargo is a trainwreck in most clients' eyes if they were originally AGE clients (there was that intermediate stop at Wachovia) so that might be the easiest move in the history of moves.

May 23, 2009 9:56 pm
nestegg:

 
TO the MOST loyal of clients that may be true but to a greater majority they may still love you but be concerened over the direction of the firm...which we as FA's have no control, other than leaving. I have had several clients transfer additional asset to me since I moved to Stifel that they flat out told me they would not have given to Wachovia/Wells. I also gained a client back that transferred out last year at the height of teh Wachovia debacle

 
Nestegg,
 
I have not lost a client yet because of the AGE/WAC/C/WFC media circus.  From the start, my clients have always done business with me, not the firm.  I always tell them that they should never be concerned if the name on the sign changes - only if the name on the desk changes.  I receive referrals all of the time - and just last week brought in two households with combined assets of over $16mm.  Had nothing to do with the name of the firm.  They were both referrals from a CPA who knows me.  It doesn't sound to me like you gained back a 'client' by moving to Stifel.  What happens when Stifel has a run of negative press? He leaves again?
 
I cannot believe that your service level, or investment advice, has improved dramatically because you changed the name of the sign out front.  I would contend that the reason you picked up additional assets from existing clients, during or after your move, is because you increased the level of contact with them.  As you needed to get documents signed.
 
Over the past year - I have looked at other firms as well.  But, I have not seen any distinctive advantage to my clients to make a change. 
 
It would seem that the only change worth taking would be to go Indy - or Profit Formula, which is what I plan to do next summer.
 
 
 
 
 
May 24, 2009 2:01 pm
maddog:
nestegg:

 
TO the MOST loyal of clients that may be true but to a greater majority they may still love you but be concerened over the direction of the firm...which we as FA's have no control, other than leaving. I have had several clients transfer additional asset to me since I moved to Stifel that they flat out told me they would not have given to Wachovia/Wells. I also gained a client back that transferred out last year at the height of teh Wachovia debacle

 
Nestegg,
 
I have not lost a client yet because of the AGE/WAC/C/WFC media circus.  From the start, my clients have always done business with me, not the firm.  I always tell them that they should never be concerned if the name on the sign changes - only if the name on the desk changes.  I receive referrals all of the time - and just last week brought in two households with combined assets of over $16mm.  Had nothing to do with the name of the firm.  They were both referrals from a CPA who knows me.  It doesn't sound to me like you gained back a 'client' by moving to Stifel.  What happens when Stifel has a run of negative press? He leaves again?
 
I cannot believe that your service level, or investment advice, has improved dramatically because you changed the name of the sign out front.  I would contend that the reason you picked up additional assets from existing clients, during or after your move, is because you increased the level of contact with them.  As you needed to get documents signed.
 
Over the past year - I have looked at other firms as well.  But, I have not seen any distinctive advantage to my clients to make a change. 
 
It would seem that the only change worth taking would be to go Indy - or Profit Formula, which is what I plan to do next summer.

 
 
 
 
 



I am not talking about negative press, every firm will ahve something at some point, but there is a difference in negative press and the debacle of teh AGE to Wachovia to Citi for a week to WFC merger, and the fact out parent company was bailed out so we didngt get taken over by teh FDIC...even if the latter didn't happen the whole thing was a cluster, and caused multiple issues on many many levels.

I appreciate your opionion, but when you are told to your face that...here are additonal assets and accounts becasue you are no longer 'there' you kinda have to take it at face value! Your best clients will typically stay with you through thick and thin which mine did, but they certainly were not happy about it when the firm esentially was out of business. No matter how good of a guy you are if the company goes out of biz...you can't stop it and clients know this! I also have opened up accounts with propects that wouldn't come over while at WS...they were at other wires, like me but had uneasiness about the firm, I ahve closed several in the few months at SF...they were unhappy where they were but were not sold on the WS/WFC mess, and told me so.

As far as service level...yes it has improved...I left some clients that were time consuming behind, and I have a bettter staffed office and MUCH better back office than what we had at WS. Investment advice..no I have'nt gotten any smarter in 3-4 months lol. But I am much more competitive and gettign better advice on things like Bonds now than at WS...I have never doen so much bond biz in my life! The differences of not being constrained to bonddesk are staggering!

I think you are doing the right thing looking at Indy, it wasn;t right for me, but I would definitely separate yourself from the mess! If your relationships are as strong as you say you will have no problems, and be surprised at the additional business you didn't think was available to you! Good luck!

May 24, 2009 3:37 pm
iceco1d:
Chazzy:
iceco1d:

nor did I pull the "why would you trust your hard-earned money with a company that can't even manage its own!" bit...totally initiated by the client).

Dang Ice, that almost sounded rehearsed

Nope. I don't use the line, but it has been suggested on several threads here (but yes, I have CONSIDERED using it, but then decided against it). As to everyone who says, "you must have poor relationships with your clients if they care about what firm you are at..." Some of you have sorely inflated egos. Certainly, clients are/should be with us for the most part because of US, and not the sign on the door. But if you think clients at the likes of AIG, Wachovia, Bear Stearns, and the like, aren't at least considering the fact that the firm is not in the best shape, you are mistaken. Now, is this the case for everyone? Of course not. But Wells will lose some Wachovia/AGE clients because of the b.s., and it will NOT be the fault of the broker, nor could that attrition likely be averted by the broker. Likewise, there will be some clients that will follow their broker into the gates of hell if need be, for whatever reason.And then there will be the overwhelming majority of clients that will follow their broker through a lot, and refer business - but will at times consider how much of the firm's nonsense and drama they will accept, as well as at times wonder if the "grass is greener" with another firm & broker.It's different for everyone, but to think that every client in your book would eternally sit still for an AIG-style meltdown, or an AGE/WS/C/WFC volley is moronic.







May 25, 2009 7:38 pm

I moved to Janney from Wachovia Securities two months ago.  I currently have 80% of my premove assets in house.  By mid summer I should be at 90%.  If you have good relationships with your clients and give them a good reason to leave, they will go with you.  It is less of a change for them to stay with you than for your clients to go with a new advisor whom they have never met. 

 
One piece of advice, consider going to a regional.  Don't know why more advisors don't do it.  Personal access to the chief investment strategist, any and all equity analysts, as well as upper management, higher payout, less red tape, and higher morale. 
May 25, 2009 8:08 pm
iceco1d:


It's different for everyone, but to think that every client in your book would eternally sit still for an AIG-style meltdown, or an AGE/WS/C/WFC volley is moronic. 

 
It is different for everyone.  I wouldn't expect a client to sit 'eternally' still, nor would I expect a broker to sit 'eternally' still.  However, the point I was (not so eloquenlty) trying to make is that - the grass may appear greener on the other side of the fence, but it still has to be mowed.
 
Your closing sentence would have been just fine if you would have ended it as I started the above paragraph. 
May 25, 2009 8:37 pm

Ryedog, did the brokers from your old office hammer your book? I don't agree with brokers who aggressively push themselves on a departed broker's' book. I also agree with the regional comment.

May 25, 2009 9:10 pm

Would you guys who feel going to a regional is a positive, say the same thing about going to a Regional on their indie platform?

May 25, 2009 9:31 pm
Sportsfreakbob:

Would you guys who feel going to a regional is a positive, say the same thing about going to a Regional on their indie platform?



Yes