MS/SB Looming FA Cuts

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Mar 8, 2009 1:27 pm

It seems as though this is invevitable for those >7 LOS under 400.  Will this take place before the "JV" is actually consummated or will MS and SB respectively cut people before?  How deep will it be?  Will it go into trainees?  Anybody have any thoughts?  I like to think that it will be more subjective than that, with people who seem to have some momentum kept rather than a wholesale objective cut.

Mar 8, 2009 3:10 pm

Sorry, what I meant to ask was if these cuts were going to take place before or after the supposed JV.  This summer I will reach 3 years production, did not qualify for retention, and am a little (more than a little) concerned about the future of the industry and my future in this industry. 

 
I have heard rumors from some FAs in the firm that the bottom two quintiles will be dumped right after the deal closes and then others within the firm say that it will be January before anyone is clipped, depending how many leave before that.  I don't understand how there can be such a range in information.  Maybe that demonstrates that no one knows anything yet. 
 
All I try to do is keep hitting the phones, getting the appointments, and keep up the activity and try not to let it bother me, yet....
 
Any knowledge that can be shared is appreciated.  Thanks in advance
Mar 8, 2009 3:36 pm
IllinoisEagle:
 
All I try to do is keep hitting the phones, getting the appointments, and keep up the activity and try not to let it bother me, yet....
 
 
I have nothing to share except keep doing that and always keep your options open.
Mar 8, 2009 4:17 pm

Curious what the cut off to get retention was?

Mar 8, 2009 4:24 pm

What does this mean for people just coming out of the training program as the jv is complete? Is it going to be a blanket cut or are the brand new FAA's in the top 3 teirs safe?

Mar 8, 2009 4:40 pm

OS-- People just coming out of the training program have three years in production.  I would like to think they are safe, especially if you have been steadily building your business over three years.  Rookies under salary I would think are vulnerable, especially if you are not in top three quintiles.

 
But will they cut people who may not be doing as well but are part of teams, do they penalize for inherited accounts versus bringing your own assets in.  Some of this assessment should escape a purely objective cut.
Mar 8, 2009 4:51 pm

Thanks for the update. I meant those just getting back from PS1 and just entering production. I heard the jv could be complete as early as May. So are you thinking they'll start letting people go that quick?

Mar 8, 2009 4:55 pm

FA's in the training program aside, and looking at the grid, and the way they constructed retention, i would not be surprised to see FA's under 400k with 9-10 yrs LOS get taken out. Particularly in the current environment.
Didnt Gorman do something like that when he got to MS? Cut the bottom 1000 or something like that?
Bottom line .....make sure you have a plan B
As far as retention, those with 6-7 yrs LOS got money if they were doing i think 350 and 400 respectively, so that would tell me those guys are safe.

Mar 8, 2009 4:56 pm

ML let a lot of people go under 2 years LOS and below.  It could happen, unless you are knocking it out straight out of training.   I don't know.  Logically, that's two years of salary left to be paid for a firm that has less revenue than recent history.  I wondering if anyone else has any glimpse of information.

Mar 8, 2009 5:55 pm
IllinoisEagle:

Sorry, what I meant to ask was if these cuts were going to take place before or after the supposed JV.  This summer I will reach 3 years production, did not qualify for retention, and am a little (more than a little) concerned about the future of the industry and my future in this industry. 

 
I have heard rumors from some FAs in the firm that the bottom two quintiles will be dumped right after the deal closes and then others within the firm say that it will be January before anyone is clipped, depending how many leave before that.  I don't understand how there can be such a range in information.  Maybe that demonstrates that no one knows anything yet. 
 
All I try to do is keep hitting the phones, getting the appointments, and keep up the activity and try not to let it bother me, yet....
 
Any knowledge that can be shared is appreciated.  Thanks in advance
 
The guys in your office are doing what brokers always do, BS with each other and speculate. My guess is there will be some sort of cuts, at some level, of some size, but I doubt even those in a position to make those decisions have made them, much less have they leaked anything to the boys in the lunchroom.
 
You're doing the right thing, keep working. You'll need those results no matter what happens and it's the only part of the process you have any control over.
 
Mar 8, 2009 8:43 pm
IllinoisEagle:

OS-- People just coming out of the training program have three years in production.  I would like to think they are safe, especially if you have been steadily building your business over three years.  Rookies under salary I would think are vulnerable, especially if you are not in top three quintiles.

 
But will they cut people who may not be doing as well but are part of teams, do they penalize for inherited accounts versus bringing your own assets in.  Some of this assessment should escape a purely objective cut.



I'm at SB.  Inherited accounts, under 75M I think we're not paid on, unless they're in fee-based (SBA, Trak, PM, etc) accounts.  I've been pushing more and more inherited accounts to Myfi.  I did inherit a fair amount of retirees, and I'll tell you, they're just death-a constant drain of assets out the door, distributions, no more assets outside to bring in, a lot of cd buyers.   I wish I never took two-thirds of them. 
I've stressed to all the FAAs behind me in the branch, if there doesn't appear to be potential for other assets, get rid of them.  Quick. 
It was good in that the trails helped me eat, and hit some bonuses, but that was about it. 

A few of them have gone on to bring over other assets and become great clients.  But these are more the exception.


I know they did limit the PS3 training to top 3 quintiles. 

Mar 9, 2009 3:43 am

can't believe they have been spending valuable training time and money on you guys so that you could learn to play PS2 and PS3...what games did they have you playing?





Mar 9, 2009 7:30 am

Madden

Mar 9, 2009 6:21 pm

Any more news or info on this today?

Mar 10, 2009 12:00 am

Sorry what does LOS stand for?

Mar 10, 2009 1:20 pm

length of service

Mar 11, 2009 1:33 pm

call me at 415.956.9990. ask for Dan. I run a premier HNW advisor search firm and have a superb RIA partner you can be placed at if nervous about the current situation!

Mar 11, 2009 2:09 pm

Have you heard anything more on SB cuts??  I am hearing more and more rumors that FAAs will be the first to go.  Nothing credible yet though, all just rumors still... 

 
Can't say that I would be too surprised, but would like some heads up.
Mar 11, 2009 11:50 pm
There is no concrete information out by that I have heard of.
 
Honestly, I think it is too early to tell at this point.  However, thinking about it logically, Gorman has a history of eliminating positions as he dropped 1,000 soon after he joined MS and did something similar when he was with ML. 
 
Trainees are a drain on the firm because of salary and if there is no potential they have to be vulnerable.  Whatever assets they bring in will likely be retained by the firm as the trainees will more often than not just get out of the industry mostly because no one else will take them.  Especially, if there is a great number of people looking for the same few positions elsewhere.
 
Those who gross under 400 who have been with their firms for over 7 or 8 years probably will never move upward appreciably because they don't know how to prospect, don't want to, or both (according to the bosses).  These firms, especially SB, have made it clear through the past two grid structures that they would rather not have them at the firm.
 
In many localities there is overlap with MS and SB branch offices that really doesn't need to be there.  There has to be some type of office integration.  Why pay rent for two spaces when the lease runs out?
 
So, it seems some reduction will happen -- but when, and how?  These are questions that probably have not been definitively answered by the executives yet.
Mar 12, 2009 12:28 am

IllinoisEagle, I agree with pretty much everything you said. But I'm hopeful that MSSB won't just layoff every trainee under salary without considering that FAAs potential. In my office there are 4 FAAs that went to PS1 08, and just me in 09 (class 09-06). 2 of the FAAs from 08 are lazy and don't have a chance, but the other 2 (along with myself) are very hard working and have a good chance at succeeding. Do you think they'll take an individual's potential into consideration?