ML sucks now what?

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Jan 27, 2009 9:57 pm

Allright people I realize that ML has blown it.  I have 5 years in the business and do 400k in revenue 30 million in AUM.  88% of my book is annunitized in managed products.  I have run my own business befoe but not as an advisor.  Looking to move quick.  I have norrowed it down to LPL, Commonwealth, Cambridge and NEXT.  Have had many conversations and I am conteplating doing my own OSJ or farming it out?  I am not  worried selling against ML but in this environment I am concerend about taking clients although I have had good feedback so far.  I hate having to go hire a staff.  Question is do I use some sort of "admin hub" or just bite the bullet? Any expeirances out there?  Any idea's of which BD to use?

 
Stop the flames just post on yahoo fianance.  Trying to get direction here
 

"Inch by Inch"
Jan 27, 2009 10:03 pm

You have run your own business before but not as an advisor? im confused, are you part of a team?

Jan 27, 2009 10:07 pm

Usually people can bring about 50% of the book..In this market would say less, but in your case maybe more.  But they guys at ML will paint you as too young to make it.  If 50% comes can you do 10K a month going forward?

Jan 27, 2009 10:14 pm

I have discussed with several friends who are also indy osj's that if I could do it over I would have gladly given up a reasonable percentage (10-15% as a ballpark) to an OSJ just to put that aspect of the task off for 12-18 months while I focussed on moving my book over and getting the pipeline filling operations back up to speed.

Just food for thought.

Jan 27, 2009 10:21 pm

As a ws guy i would not advise a move here...seems like the jig is up. With a rollover business i would go RIA with Schwab

Jan 27, 2009 11:00 pm
mlgone:

Thats what I was thinking Hyman.  Make the transition smoother.  Still better than a 36% payout.  But infrastructer is what worries me in this Madolff world.  ML is easy to sell out of but selling "XYZ Investments" isn't.  What firm do you like for managed business?



I am with LPL and I'm happy with them.

Last time I checked, they haven't needed to ask for government handouts to stay in business, nor have they sold themselves to a bank out of desperation.  I think if you present FACTS to people they will be more comfortable with "XYZ Investments" than you might think.

There are other good firms out there, I just happen to think I'm already with the best.

Jan 28, 2009 8:47 am
mlgone:

Allright people I realize that ML has blown it. 



I was thinking about this type of thoughyprocess last night.  Has ML really blown it? (Don't answer that)  More specifically, has the ML Global Wealth Management really blown it?

I tell my clients that the order of my priorities are:
My family
My clients
My firm

I also express to them that if things go bad at ML and that they would be better off with me at someplace else rather than with me at ML, they will hear from me but I'll be calling from someplace else.  I then follow that up with, at this time, besides for big moving bonuses or higher payouts (which only go to me) and maybe not having to explain what the bad press about ML, no other place has demonstrated why my clients would be better off with me there rather than with me at ML.

Besides for the emotions that people feel with all of the bad press that ML has been getting, have things gotten worse for clients at ML?

--WM

Jan 28, 2009 9:15 am

Edwards and Jones warned us about ML

Jan 28, 2009 9:16 am
outofjail:

Edwards and Jones warned us about ML

 
What is the relevance of this post? Are you trying to be funny?
Jan 28, 2009 9:21 am

you on the Kool Aid too?

Jan 28, 2009 9:44 am
WealthManager:
mlgone:

Allright people I realize that ML has blown it. 



I was thinking about this type of thoughyprocess last night.  Has ML really blown it? (Don't answer that)  More specifically, has the ML Global Wealth Management really blown it?

I tell my clients that the order of my priorities are:
My family
My clients
My firm

I also express to them that if things go bad at ML and that they would be better off with me at someplace else rather than with me at ML, they will hear from me but I'll be calling from someplace else.  I then follow that up with, at this time, besides for big moving bonuses or higher payouts (which only go to me) and maybe not having to explain what the bad press about ML, no other place has demonstrated why my clients would be better off with me there rather than with me at ML.

Besides for the emotions that people feel with all of the bad press that ML has been getting, have things gotten worse for clients at ML?

--WM



I think that needing a multibillion dollar government rescue package and ultimately being acquired by a white knight is a little more than 'bad press' for clients.  Once BAC starts(continues) taking apart the management infrastructure that was Merrill, it will get worse.

Jan 28, 2009 10:12 am

curious why you think it will get worse?    From my seat ML had to be rescued and was not transparent about the condition of the company....   So, if the same ML managers are run out of town that ran the company into the ground how can it get worse?

Define worse for me?      2 CEO's gone -    no expense managment   -- and a 15B loss in the 4th quarter ....  I guess BAC caused that?

Jan 28, 2009 10:28 am
HymanRoth:


I think that needing a multibillion dollar government rescue package and ultimately being acquired by a white knight is a little more than 'bad press' for clients.  Once BAC starts(continues) taking apart the management infrastructure that was Merrill, it will get worse.

 

I don’t see how the rescue package is bad for clients other than the fact that it’s being paid with using their tax dollars.


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I’m keeping a close eye on changes to the management infrastructure.  So far there has been little/none that will affect the client.



Yes, I drank a bit of the kool aid, but isn’t it a high probability that having access to BoA’s resources will be an additional benefit for ML clients?



So far, the only clients that have been negatively affected are the small ones that we don’t get paid on.



--WM

Jan 28, 2009 10:47 am


Yes, I drank a bit of the kool aid, but isn’t it a high probability that having access to BoA’s resources will be an additional benefit for ML clients? 


--WM

[/quote]
 
BoA's resources???

 
I moved from ML to BAC... you are in for a downside shock.
Jan 28, 2009 10:57 am
I have always had great respect for ML but management really screwed up.
 
GM was once a great company, their reputation was tarnished and even though they actually make a decent product(quality wise) well you know the rest..... 
 
ML may or may not make it out of this debacle.  The clients money will be ok, but as an advisor are you working a firm akin to GM or Toyota?
 
As for moving.....my 2 cents(I moved my book last Nov.) find a situation where compliance and non-revenue stuff is taken care of for you.  Giving up a little  % to have that off your plate and focusing on transferring every client you can will pay off in the longer term.  You can always change your setup in the future.  For my situation, I almost went with LPL under an OSJ for the reasons above, another opportunity with the same help arose for me to go under a RIA with compliance and set up handled for me while I focused on client transfers. 
 
If you have stayed in front of your clients during the last year, you will transfer over a large % of your book( I was at 90%, incidently some clients will surprise you going and not going but you keep in front of them with your regular info you send out and they may come back after the "promised greener pastures" thing plays out).  Being independent is a very simple story to sell in these uncertain times.  Your clients do business with you and it is your job to seek out the very best environment to conduct that business. 
 
 
Jan 28, 2009 11:30 am
fritz:

Usually people can bring about 50% of the book.

That is certainly not what is "usual."  Far from it.  Sounds like you either lost half your book in a move and want to think that is typical, or perhpas just a wild guess.  Either way, it is far from "usual."
Jan 28, 2009 12:00 pm
WealthManager:
HymanRoth:


I think that needing a multibillion dollar government rescue package and ultimately being acquired by a white knight is a little more than 'bad press' for clients.  Once BAC starts(continues) taking apart the management infrastructure that was Merrill, it will get worse.

 

I don’t see how the rescue package is bad for clients other than the fact that it’s being paid with using their tax dollars.


<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 


I’m keeping a close eye on changes to the management infrastructure.  So far there has been little/none that will affect the client.



Yes, I drank a bit of the kool aid, but isn’t it a high probability that having access to BoA’s resources will be an additional benefit for ML clients?



So far, the only clients that have been negatively affected are the small ones that we don’t get paid on.



--WM

 
So if someone brings in $90K and you put it in A share mutual funds, you don't get paid at all?
Jan 28, 2009 12:25 pm
So if someone brings in $90K and you put it in A share mutual funds, you don't get paid at all?[/quote]



That's correct. And POA/PMDs tend to have more of these sub-100k clients as we're starting out in the business, so raising the payout bar from 50k to 100k was disproportionately aimed at us.



Just before leaving ML, I had a new client open a 60k bond portfolio, just to dip his toe in the water with another firm. He has another 900k in investable assets at MS (with a broker he's gotten burned by a few times).



I'm glad to say that's a client (and pipeline) I'll be taking with me to my new firm.



Having ML on your resume is still a good pedigree. If you're passionate about the business, I encourage all former POA/PMDs to knock on every firms door before giving up and leaving the industry.



Good luck!
Jan 28, 2009 12:40 pm
WealthManager:
HymanRoth:


I think that needing a multibillion dollar government rescue package and ultimately being acquired by a white knight is a little more than 'bad press' for clients.  Once BAC starts(continues) taking apart the management infrastructure that was Merrill, it will get worse.

 

I don’t see how the rescue package is bad for clients other than the fact that it’s being paid with using their tax dollars.



I’m keeping a close eye on changes to the management infrastructure.  So far there has been little/none that will affect the client.



Yes, I drank a bit of the kool aid, but isn’t it a high probability that having access to BoA’s resources will be an additional benefit for ML clients?



So far, the only clients that have been negatively affected are the small ones that we don’t get paid on.



--WM



Well...the way I see it you own a business and there are many firms out there competing for your business.  Why deal with one that is now tainted(for a long while until folks forget)?

Personally, I can't wait until my next meeting with a prospect when they pull out Merrill statements...especially if they are rightward leaning in their political views.

"Gee Mister Jones, doesn't it bother you a bit that you lost all this money with Merill and your financial advisor was paid a bonus with your tax money?  Sign here."

Jan 28, 2009 4:53 pm

Pretty funny and accurate comment from Tom Brown: