MS Branch Closings/Consolitdations

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Apr 30, 2006 12:52 pm

Any one hearing much about possible  branch closings?  Everyone in my branch is in the 300 - 450 range.  We've been told to shape up quick because the firm average is now 450 and they have been considering closing us since we're not that profitable.


Apr 30, 2006 2:46 pm

If I were in your shoes, I would begin talking with other B/D's about the possibility of moving. Start doing the preliminary search now, then wait to see what happens with your branch. Your preliminary search should progress to the point that you know exactly what B/D you'll go to, if the ax falls on your branch.


If the ax falls and you haven't done any prelim searching and it takes 2/3 weeks to do your due diligence with other B/D's, what will your clients do, in the meantime? You can count on the fact that your A & B list clients will be wined and dined by their new broker!


If your new B/D of choice has a transfer package, get it and keep it for possible future implementation. Your new B/D should be able to work with you on this.


Next, keep your eyes and ears wide open for signs that the ax is falling on your branch. Such signs can consist of a noticeable lack of capital improvements to your branch. For example, everyone got a new phone/computer, etc. system and your branch didn't, everyone got new furniture and you didn't, etc.


If you get multiple, independent unofficial confirmations that your branch is closing, then you may want to go ahead and put your plan into action. Or if you show-up one morning and the doors are locked, contact the new B/D and get moving.


Ideally, your plan should allow you to continue doing business within just a few days of having your branch close. Obviously, the less downtime you allow between B/D's the better your business will fare.


Good luck!

Apr 30, 2006 4:16 pm

I am in the exact position as many in your branch regards to gross.  The longer waiting the more gets out in the open in the form of rumors and leverage for getting a fair deal goes away.


At 450 can get a pretty good deal probably no matter what, but in the 300-350 range the deal will get chopped in 1/2 if others know you are about to be leaving.


Good Luck....Better to be early than late in my opinion.


May 1, 2006 9:39 am
iconsult100:

Any one hearing much about possible  branch closings?  Everyone in my branch is in the 300 - 450 range.  We've been told to shape up quick because the firm average is now 450 and they have been considering closing us since we're not that profitable.




As others have said, it's always wise to have an escape plan, and if my office was in a market MS could afford to leave, I'd be doubly prepared. OTOH, whoever told you to "shape up" probably has a financial incentive to increase your production and isn't beyond using fear to do so. "Not that profitable" is a pretty squishy term and it's hard to imagine MS would walk away from profit OR market share. Neither of those is a winning strategy to increase profits.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


I think it's more likely that we'll see real estate consolidation (learn when your office lease is up), maybe some satellite offices get closed and the serious recruiting drive continuing to add revenues.


May 1, 2006 5:38 pm

I have heard from recruiters that Morgan is looking closely at branches that haven't demonstrated growth in the past 2-3 years, and that the jobs of managers at those branches are in question....so if your branch is weak in the growth department, maybe the branch manager is mostly worried about his own but....

May 1, 2006 5:41 pm

It really depends on what kind of commute you'll face if they close your branch.  Not everybody will tolerate an additional 20 mile commute to a new office.

May 1, 2006 6:17 pm
JCadieux:

It really depends on what kind of commute you'll face if they close your branch.  Not everybody will tolerate an additional 20 mile commute to a new office.


You're kidding....right.  20 miles is nothing.  You must not be from California or any of the western states.  We don't talk in miles to get from one place to another, but in hours or time driving.  Like:  How long is it to get to San Francisco from Santa Clara?   The answer will depend on how much traffic and the time of day you are driving and is given in time.... never miles.    Oh ...yeah and it is uphill both ways.