Merrill thoughts?

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Mar 16, 2009 11:14 am

I've been talking to Merrill and just curious what people thought about it there. Everything I've seen looks pretty good, but I'm curious to hear directly from advisors there. I'm over 10 years in industry 500-700 production.

Mar 16, 2009 11:44 am

yikes

Mar 16, 2009 3:39 pm

SURPRISED THEY TAKE YOU W/THOSE NUMBERS, HEARD THEY ARE ONLY LOOKING @ 800K PLUS.

Mar 16, 2009 3:57 pm

Ouch.

Mar 16, 2009 4:07 pm

ML is in the same league as Enron and World com.


Try another firm.  
Mar 17, 2009 10:09 pm

Why would you go to a wirehouse like Merrill when you have 500-700 in production? Why not go indy and get an 80% payout?

Mar 17, 2009 10:13 pm
Greenbacks:

ML is in the same league as Enron and World com.


Try another firm.  
 
I'm not with ML or even very fond of ML, but that's just ridiculous.
Mar 17, 2009 10:22 pm

left from ML to UBS about 5 months ago...



the biggest question is: where are you now?



recap of the two:

UBS strengths: leave you alone, few egos, good mgmt support and attention, less publicity on major negative issues (explain thain and lewis in front of congress to your clients in a few weeks), handle many more products (insurance and annuities) than ML



ML weaknesses: rank you every day (production), view you completely differently than producers of other size (i was LOS 7 at ML and did 625k), mgmt will change in your office frequently, local mgmt is a regurgitator of their boss, ML might not insist that you do proprietary products, but they will cram it down your throat until you do - it's ALL they talk about



ML strengths: technology is superior, banking products are superior



UBS weaknesses: technology pathetic, banking products pathetic



the difference i've found between the two derive a central belief: UBS believes they can let a producer do his thing and provide a tad less support via technology, whereas ML believes they can actual mold an FA to become the producer they want via their support and comp

Mar 17, 2009 10:23 pm

yes, that is ridiculous. i don't really care what a producer who's not with ML thinks of ML. It's important what the FAs there think and what the clients think. None of you plan on being my clients.



Going indy, I don't get paid to go, I have to set up shop myself, hire my staff myself, do everything. Some great perks, but overall pain in the ass. I may go that route at some point, but if I can get a HUGE check now, then go indy in 10 years when my book is where I want it, then why not? Besides, I get a check to stay where I am... I'd be nuts to just leave to go indy right now and in this market.

Mar 17, 2009 10:30 pm

I moved to ML about a month ago. Everything they promised me has been acurate, the quality of the people supporting me and working with me have been first class.

Mar 17, 2009 10:32 pm

Joe, I was writing my post at the same time as you... thanks for the insight.

From what I can see, I agree with you. I'm at SB now. I am not set on leaving, but I am listening. I've been with UBS, and agree with your points as well. Good firm from the stand point of leaving you alone, they do pay nicely upfront, but not sure I have a desire to go back there. Technology is important to me and is an attraction of ML. I didn't know about the product pushing. Not a fan of that. What kind of stuff did they push?



Mar 17, 2009 10:41 pm
JoeNatlanta:

left from ML to UBS about 5 months ago...

the biggest question is: where are you now?

recap of the two:
UBS strengths: leave you alone, few egos, good mgmt support and attention, less publicity on major negative issues (explain thain and lewis in front of congress to your clients in a few weeks), handle many more products (insurance and annuities) than ML

ML weaknesses: rank you every day (production), view you completely differently than producers of other size (i was LOS 7 at ML and did 625k), mgmt will change in your office frequently, local mgmt is a regurgitator of their boss, ML might not insist that you do proprietary products, but they will cram it down your throat until you do - it's ALL they talk about

ML strengths: technology is superior, banking products are superior

UBS weaknesses: technology pathetic, banking products pathetic

the difference i've found between the two derive a central belief: UBS believes they can let a producer do his thing and provide a tad less support via technology, whereas ML believes they can actual mold an FA to become the producer they want via their support and comp

 
All great points.  I have a friend coming to UBS from ML, and I've warned him about the tech platform being inferior to what he has currently.  Salesforce seems to be much better than Relationship Manager.  I don't know if I'd call the entire tech platform pathetic.  I started with EJ, and that my friend is the definition of pathetic.
 
Regarding the banking products, I actually like what UBS has to offer.  I wonder if you would compare and contrast the two for me either in this forum or in a pm?  I'd like to be able let my buddy know how to prepare his clients.  Thanks again for post.
Mar 17, 2009 11:18 pm

If your a bank side FA , you will not get any up front. Only salary (1st year and back end over 5 yrs). If you dont produce after 1 yr, penalty box for you.

Mar 18, 2009 1:21 am

answering a couple of questions here:



1. UBS banking: i'm talking about the whole amex as a debit card thing. if your buddy is at ML, then he'll have a tough time transitioning some of his clients to the amex card....which flat out isn't accepted in many locations. Instead, I converted EVERYONE to the VISA credit card option, but it's ran through barclay's, so it is a bit cumbersome. you have to set the initial limit very high so a client won't hit the max in a month, then set it to auto pay out of the account, etc...i'm not talking about lending here



2. the ENTIRE UBS tech platform is behind ML...and is pathetic...my guess is that there isn't much technology difference between ML and SB though



3. I spoke with a former ML manager today, and he mentioned that while he was an ML manager in the Southeast, that their entire management planning meetings were centered around how to get the FA to stick at ML...and for clients to stick if the FA left. To him, that meant pushing things that weren't very portable, yet were highly profitable to the firm. In particular, this meant structured products, hedge funds and other AIs, annuities, and life insurance (with ML being the dominant product provider of each). Now, I have to say, no one ever made me buy one at ML, but they talk about it non freaking stop...something I haven't encountered at UBS. Also, they push Blackrock funds more than others, and limit insurance biz to just a few carriers via in-house "insurance" salespeople. In short, they just seem to get in your business every time you turn around...grew irritating after several years



that said, these two issues that ML leads on doesn't come close to the fact that they are more arrogant, and more pushy, and get in your stuff more than UBS - and it is a blessing to be here now...you are free to run whatever type of business you'd like