Qu. For SB PMer's

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May 17, 2007 8:57 pm

Scenerio:  Significant amount of assets in PM.  Over 70 million.  May be leaving. I am fed up. There are only two other PMers in the office. 


In this scenario what do you suppose the brain trust will do?  Divide between the two who are small producers to call my clients or spread out with other PMer's in offices nearby. 


Supposed "great" new pay package coming out.  Too late.  I'm done. 



May 17, 2007 10:34 pm

You should not have a problem moving your pm clients.  They should be loyal to you and your service not SB.  I would position my holdings so that no transactions are needed for a few weeks and jump when the time is right.  If your clients percieve value in the management of their accounts, your in the right platform to take them all quickly.


As for as the new and improved payout stucture, I cant wait to see what changes Sally will make; she slammed Todd at the director's circle.  We should see the new plan by the end of the summer...so they say............. 20% on the first 5k what a joke........What's next are we gonna rebrand ourself again....nevermind were doing that again right now...

May 18, 2007 10:46 am

I've lost a fairly new junior guy that worked with me over this and I'm sick about it.  The stupid pay changes...lets call them what they are...cuts, didnt have much of an impact on me.  But for guys grossing 300-500k it has been a big deal and I dont blame them.  Crappy support and pay cuts don't mix. 


For me what has finally tipped me over the top is not only loosing a good guy who would have been a great asset to my team but also all the other crap.  Stupid crap that I am fed up with.  It has been a lot of years.  Over 15.  But this is it. You have me until the end of the year SB then me and my 200 million plus book will be out the door.  


Coutside you are correct.  My PM book should be very sticky however I want to do everything I can to take every last penny and avoid poachers.   

May 21, 2007 6:25 pm

I think management will divide all of your assets among ALL the office, whether they are PMers or not. The ones that aren't PMers will simply find some manger (small cap value, International, etc.) that has better numbers and make the pitch.  Most clients don't care where the performance comes from, as long as it comes. 


Come on, things aren't that bad. With not having to pay for errors, registrations, and my SA, as well as getting an expense account, I think I'm a net postive with the changes.

May 21, 2007 10:29 pm
Lex123:

Come on, things aren't that bad. With not having to pay for errors, registrations, and my SA, as well as getting an expense account, I think I'm a net postive with the changes.



A 20% payout on all "institutional" business, the lowest payout in the industry (particularly ugly on fee-based), a 20% payout on the first $5k of gross (meaning a $12,000 pay cut across the board for every broker) is a net positive? Either you are (1) very generous to your SA, (2) prone to trade errors, (3) think that an expense account is the same as getting paid (and you're doing more than $1.5 million gross) or you should actually review the consequences of this plan.


I'm sorry - but you "think you're net positive"? As a financial advisor, don't you think that you should know what the impact is of a major change to your compensation on your finances? This sort of perpetual "always look on the bright side" crap is a bit old. There's a fine lne between accentuating the positive and being in denial and I think you may have crossed it.

May 22, 2007 9:40 am

Wow, sounds like everyone is pissed at SB?

May 22, 2007 12:48 pm
san fran broker:
Lex123:

Come on, things aren't that bad. With not having to pay for errors, registrations, and my SA, as well as getting an expense account, I think I'm a net postive with the changes.

A 20% payout on all "institutional" business, the lowest payout in the industry (particularly ugly on fee-based), a 20% payout on the first $5k of gross (meaning a $12,000 pay cut across the board for every broker) is a net positive? Either you are (1) very generous to your SA, (2) prone to trade errors, (3) think that an expense account is the same as getting paid (and you're doing more than $1.5 million gross) or you should actually review the consequences of this plan.

I'm sorry - but you "think you're net positive"? As a financial advisor, don't you think that you should know what the impact is of a major change to your compensation on your finances? This sort of perpetual "always look on the bright side" crap is a bit old. There's a fine lne between accentuating the positive and being in denial and I think you may have crossed it.


I recall having to sit down and run the numbers on the new and "improved" comp plan at my former employer.  With the various moving parts, it took a little while to prove my suspicions that I would be working a lot harder for perhaps a little bit more compensation, but when I did, I started planning my escape.  Lex may have to get a few paychecks before the truth sinks in, but without even knowing all the details, I have my doubts that anyone other than SB will win with the new plan...that's just the way the man works...

May 22, 2007 6:59 pm

San Fran,


1. I WAS very generous to my S.A. Now, I don't have to pay her a cent. 2. I AM prone to errors because I enter a ton of orders. (In addition, as a PMer on block trade the chance for a HUGE error always kept me up at night.) 3. I spent my own money on marketing, and now I don't have to.


Finally, with push back from the field and with Sally back, the 20% payout on the first $5K is as good as reversed.


My point is simply that ALL Smith Barney reps are not angry and also that there are some positive developments to come out of  the new pay changes.



May 22, 2007 9:11 pm

Lex makes some good points. The firm screwed up, and they know it. An email actually went out today, from Sally, and among other things, it acknowledged that the firm is aware of what the new comp plan has done to morale and Sr mgmnt has among its short term goals, fixing it.
I have also heard from other sources that other Sr managers have flat out stated that the new comp plan will be rolled out by summers end, and will tkae care of a lot of the crap that was created, including the 20% payout on the first 5k, which is probably the dumbest thing any wirehouse has ever done. (even tho Wachovia already has had something similiar in place for years.)
There is no doubt in my mind that with Sally back, this whole situation will be fixed, and SB will be back on top sooner than many people think.

May 22, 2007 9:26 pm
Lex123:

Finally, with push back from the field and with Sally back, the 20% payout on the first $5K is as good as reversed.


My point is simply that ALL Smith Barney reps are not angry and also that there are some positive developments to come out of  the new pay changes.



Yeah, I'm sorry Lex - I was being a little excessive there...


My feeling is that you're wrong about the reversal of the comp plan changes. The reality is that Sally doesn't understand our business and never will - her focus is always on the research product and she seems to find it amusing that Smith Barney is run so cheaply - 'expensive is for the Private Bank' is what I imagine the view is from 388. Smith Barney is a retail product and it doesn't much matter to her if the retail brokers are unhappy. As long as she continues to build her resume for either CEO of Citigroup (sorry - "Citi") or Treasury Secretary in the second Clinton Administration - she doesn't care. This is the problem with SB - it doesn't have any leadership - they are always looking at either other divisions or upward.


It was under her that SB compliance became so onerous. My guess is that they will try to put a few more carrots into the comp plan, but the issue is that they did it once - which means they will do it again, and again. The fact is that SB is a shadow of what it once was and they still haven't done ANYTHING to try and fix the firm or stem the tide of departures.

May 22, 2007 10:27 pm
pratoman:

Lex makes some good points. The firm screwed up, and they know it. An email actually went out today, from Sally, and among other things, it acknowledged that the firm is aware of what the new comp plan has done to morale and Sr mgmnt has among its short term goals, fixing it.
I have also heard from other sources that other Sr managers have flat out stated that the new comp plan will be rolled out by summers end, and will tkae care of a lot of the crap that was created, including the 20% payout on the first 5k, which is probably the dumbest thing any wirehouse has ever done. (even tho Wachovia already has had something similiar in place for years.)
There is no doubt in my mind that with Sally back, this whole situation will be fixed, and SB will be back on top sooner than many people think.



You sound like a real company man......

May 22, 2007 10:41 pm

Speaking of departures, I hear a rumor that the Legg Funds will become portable sooner than the three years they were locked with the buyout of lmww.  This could open the gates for former leggs who stayed due to the non portability of their funds.


Also on the current pay structure, you will be paying for your SA's next year.  This was so that we could be "eased" into our pay cut.  As for as errors go, if you go over a certain amount your payout will be reduced.


I don't see Sally making big changes net to the broker with their new and improved version.


May 23, 2007 10:00 am

Recently I was at a dinner with some larger producers from different areas of the country.  Somebody said something and before you knew it the table had erupted into angry conversation that grew louder and louder...never mind that there was management also in the same room.  Nobody at my table cared if they heard.  It was really something.


The gripes werent just about the pay. That was an issue but there was so much more.  THe 2 million dollar producer sitting next to me summarized SB as bearucratic, hierachical, arrogent. He was keeping his cool but he was one cynical guy. 


He then said, "can anyone tell me why I shouldnt take close to a two million dollar check to go somewhere else?"  We all just stared at him.  Nobody seemed to have any reason for him to stay. 


Bearucratic, hierachical, arrogent... I think that sums it up also.




May 23, 2007 11:03 pm
courtside:

Speaking of departures, I hear a rumor that the Legg Funds will become portable sooner than the three years they were locked with the buyout of lmww.  This could open the gates for former leggs who stayed due to the non portability of their funds.


Also on the current pay structure, you will be paying for your SA's next year.  This was so that we could be "eased" into our pay cut.  As for as errors go, if you go over a certain amount your payout will be reduced.


I don't see Sally making big changes net to the broker with their new and improved version.




That would be great - then al the other wirehouses could have access to the same mediocre money management as we do


As far as pay structure goes, you are correct, next year we pay for our SA;s they eased us into it. As far as Sally not giving us big changes with a net positive, I guess time will tell. Lets check back in here in 3 months

May 23, 2007 11:04 pm
joedabrkr:
pratoman:

Lex makes some good points. The firm screwed up, and they know it. An email actually went out today, from Sally, and among other things, it acknowledged that the firm is aware of what the new comp plan has done to morale and Sr mgmnt has among its short term goals, fixing it.
I have also heard from other sources that other Sr managers have flat out stated that the new comp plan will be rolled out by summers end, and will tkae care of a lot of the crap that was created, including the 20% payout on the first 5k, which is probably the dumbest thing any wirehouse has ever done. (even tho Wachovia already has had something similiar in place for years.)
There is no doubt in my mind that with Sally back, this whole situation will be fixed, and SB will be back on top sooner than many people think.



You sound like a real company man......


You really know how to hit below the belt.


I'm freakin devastated


May 23, 2007 11:31 pm
pratoman:

[quote=joedabrkr] [quote=pratoman]Lex makes some good points. The firm screwed up, and they know it. An email actually went out today, from Sally, and among other things, it acknowledged that the firm is aware of what the new comp plan has done to morale and Sr mgmnt has among its short term goals, fixing it.
I have also heard from other sources that other Sr managers have flat out stated that the new comp plan will be rolled out by summers end, and will tkae care of a lot of the crap that was created, including the 20% payout on the first 5k, which is probably the dumbest thing any wirehouse has ever done. (even tho Wachovia already has had something similiar in place for years.)
There is no doubt in my mind that with Sally back, this whole situation will be fixed, and SB will be back on top sooner than many people think.[/quote]

You sound like a real company man......
[/quote]


You really know how to hit below the belt.


I'm freakin devastated


I presume you're being sarcastic but can't tell.  Not meaning to take a nasty shot just making an observation.


Hey look if it works for you, great.  The reality is that at ANY wirehouse you are facing a fundamentally different mindset than we face in the indy channel.  In your world management takes the view that THEY own the clients and you are an employee, and their duty is primarily to meet the goals set by upper management(because it impacts their paycheck) and secondarily to maximize profits for shareholders.  For upper management the goal is to maximize profits for shareholders-as it should be at a publicly traded company, of course.


My point is that nowhere above do you see reference to them making conditions be the best they can for their advisors.  Now I'm not saying that the owners/shareholders of indy firms aren't trying to maximize their profits.  However, the 'open architecture' tends to keep them a little more honest.  My b/d knows that if they were ever to mess around with my payout(such as SB did with yours) they would risk losing LOADS of advisors because we all own our books by contract and generally operate under our own brand names.  So our businesses are pretty portable.

When I was in the wire channel(for about 12 years) I always made it a point to make a significannt commitment to the firm's stock ownership program.  I always figured that was one of the best ways to protect myself against getting screwed on my payout, because if it happened then it should be good for the stock price.

Just my 2 cents...

May 24, 2007 9:31 am

Theres one tiny problem with the stock ownershipt thing Joe. 


Pull up a ten year chart of C and you will see what a great job mgnt has done with increasing stock price.  Ahhh, lets see...hmmmm


It's the same as it was seven years ago.  Gosh, is that because of the good management?


May 24, 2007 9:46 am
joedabrkr:
pratoman:
joedabrkr:
pratoman:

Lex makes some good points. The firm screwed up, and they know it. An email actually went out today, from Sally, and among other things, it acknowledged that the firm is aware of what the new comp plan has done to morale and Sr mgmnt has among its short term goals, fixing it.
I have also heard from other sources that other Sr managers have flat out stated that the new comp plan will be rolled out by summers end, and will tkae care of a lot of the crap that was created, including the 20% payout on the first 5k, which is probably the dumbest thing any wirehouse has ever done. (even tho Wachovia already has had something similiar in place for years.)
There is no doubt in my mind that with Sally back, this whole situation will be fixed, and SB will be back on top sooner than many people think.



You sound like a real company man......


You really know how to hit below the belt.


I'm freakin devastated





I presume you're being sarcastic but can't tell.  Not meaning to take a nasty shot just making an observation.



Hey look if it works for you, great.  The reality is that at ANY wirehouse you are facing a fundamentally different mindset than we face in the indy channel.  In your world management takes the view that THEY own the clients and you are an employee, and their duty is primarily to meet the goals set by upper management(because it impacts their paycheck) and secondarily to maximize profits for shareholders.  For upper management the goal is to maximize profits for shareholders-as it should be at a publicly traded company, of course.



My point is that nowhere above do you see reference to them making conditions be the best they can for their advisors.  Now I'm not saying that the owners/shareholders of indy firms aren't trying to maximize their profits.  However, the 'open architecture' tends to keep them a little more honest.  My b/d knows that if they were ever to mess around with my payout(such as SB did with yours) they would risk losing LOADS of advisors because we all own our books by contract and generally operate under our own brand names.  So our businesses are pretty portable.

When I was in the wire channel(for about 12 years) I always made it a point to make a significannt commitment to the firm's stock ownership program.  I always figured that was one of the best ways to protect myself against getting screwed on my payout, because if it happened then it should be good for the stock price.

Just my 2 cents...


I'd rather have my own money.

May 24, 2007 10:29 am
Malcolm:

Theres one tiny problem with the stock ownershipt thing Joe. 


Pull up a ten year chart of C and you will see what a great job mgnt has done with increasing stock price.  Ahhh, lets see...hmmmm


It's the same as it was seven years ago.  Gosh, is that because of the good management?




That's why I don't work at a wirehouse. 

May 24, 2007 5:26 pm

Point well taken Joe. There are things I like about the firm/wirehouse environment and things I dont. I actually do think they are going to fix it. When I say fix it, I dont mean make it the latest greatest thing ever to hit the RR world. I mean get it back to where they are competitive and then some relative to the other wirehouses.


If I see something I dont like here, I voice my opinion.