Jones Non-Solicitation clause
What has been the experience for you posters and your buddies when leaving Jones? Did you call your clients right away? Did Jones pursue you as a result? What are the chances of arbitration or worse? Do you have any recommendations for me on the day/weekend I leave? I cannot afford to be sued at this point, however, I do want to let my folks know that I've left. Any advise or experiences would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
I went and saw my biggest and best clients the same day and the next day and let them know what was going on. I didn't solicit them to move just informed them what I was doing. For those I couldn't see that weekend, I had to go to my new firm's headquarters the next week, I called and left messages with my cell number for them to call me if they weren't home.
You can't do a mass mailing and solicit them to come with you, but you can call who you want to. Just emphasize that you have enjoyed working with them in the past and would like to continue the relationship. If you can move their MFD accounts back to the MFD company, then you just have to do a change of broker dealer. A mass move in this direction would probably set off a lot of bells and whistles if you are leaving soon. If you are really concerned, you might have the client sign a statement that they sought you out to continue working with you at your new firm.
I explained at Jones I was an employee of the company in my new office I would be an independent, be my own boss, and able to offer more choices to my clients. I stressed the independence and my own abiltiy to decide just how I wanted to run my business: without pressure from corporate headquarters or regional leaders (cough ... quotas....cough) I never bad mouthed Jones, just stressed that it would be much better in an independent platform for myself and for my clients.
For some people I even went into the compensation and business budgeting issues That I could control my office expenditures much more as an independent. The fact that my share of the revenue would be much more at the independent firm than at Jones, meaning that I would work less for more. Why hide this? People know that I must be getting paid for my work and wonder just how much?
My clients were happy for me and understood the difference between being an employee and running your own business.
I explained how Jones kept 40% of MY money! I did explain that even though the 60% went to pay for my BOA and office, that I thought it was excessive and they agreed with me! I also like babs explained that I had been an employee for 25 years and that I wanted to be a business owner and they all thought that being my own boss was great.
I simply explained to my clients that even though my business grew every year while I was at Jones, it was not MY business. It belonged to Jones. My employment contract with Jones was such that if they wanted to go from having ten brokers in town to having two, they could simply fire me and take "my" clients if they really wanted to. (most clients would make a bad face at that point). So, I would explain, I worked for Jones, now LPL works for me.
Also, some people have said that calling is okay. I'm not too sure about that legally. I think it's just that calling is harder to prove than a physical letter. Technically, I assume Jones could say that you are calling them to solicit business (Why else would you be calling?), unless the client is a personal friend or family member.
Thanks for the comments.....I'm good with the explanations on the move and such. I'm interested in any stories of people getting pursued by Jones as a result of a transition to Independence. What happened that triggered the Jones wrath? How might it have been avoided? Also, if anyone has made a smooth transition from Jones....please share how you went about moving your clients...what you said and how you contacted them. Did you make arrangements or discuss this with clients prior to leaving?
You could do what one broker in South Georgia did, he put his face on a billboard, on a busy avenue, with the statement that "Joe Blow has moved to Acme Financial Services to serve you better".
Not sure of the results, but the sign should have been seen by a lot of his former clients.
You need to listen to the transition team at LPL. I left at end of week, waited for call from San Diego on the license transfer. Mailed the compliance approved tombstone letter that afternoon. Called my top 20 clients to let them know they will be receiving the letter. Worked the phones all weekend, found out that St Louis was calling my clients quizzing them if I had prewarned them on my leaving. I hadn’t. Some clients were pissed I didn’t say anything before my move…but after explaining to them the compliance tightrope I was on…they were understanding. Many clients called me, and or stopped by. It has been a wonderful and energizing experience. The info about some of the clients you think will move…will hesitate and the ones you think won’t, will–is true. I’ve already heard the new guy is telling everyone no one is leaving…he’s just to stupid to understand the acats take a few days to get going…but his tune will quickly change in another few days.
I was not sued but they did send a cease and desist letter. I had to have a lawyer send a cease and desist letter to EDJ because they were flat out lieing to my clients why I had left.
I would agree with Babbling Looney. I told them I was going to make more money, I was going to be more successful, and I was going to be able to offer them more products.
Last thing I told every single client, you have three options:
1. You can stay at Edward Jones
2. You can go to a different brokerage firm
3. Or you can come to me.
Edward Jones feels like they own the relationship so they may say or do some things that I will not stoop to. I'm trying to take the high road. With that being said, "sing here!"
93% of the assets transferred within the first year!
Not only is it a holiday weekend, but IR bonus deposits hit this morning. Today is the day to go and leave nothing on the table.
I left Jones after 2 1/2 years and within the week received two certified letters. One said I couldn't solicit business and the second said I owed them abit less than $20k. My first inclination was to write them a check and be done with it but my attorney told me I was being a dope. I traded letters with Jones for three months and then I didn't hear from them for about a year. One day I received an NASD Arbitration notice saying their claim against me was going forward. To make a long story much shorter we settled the action in a manner that left me smiling. The settlement agreement prohibits me from disclosing the final amount.
Two years downstream from becoming independent I can say three things:
1. I'M HAPPY! IT WAS THE BEST BUSINESS DECISION I'VE EVERY MADE. MY FIRST YEAR INDPENDENT DELIVERED THREE TIMES MY BEST INCOME WITH JONES.
2. MY CLIENTS ARE VERY VERY HAPPY
3. I SHOULD HAVE LEFT JONES MUCH SOONER.
I couldn't agree more with those who dismiss Jones as a good deal for Jones and a bad deal for the rep.
Thanks for your comments. I am curious though....the basis for the arbitration. Was it that you left prior to fulfilling your 3 year commitment or were there other things involved (solicitation, ect)?
Again, congrats on your successes.