RayJay and Stifel

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Feb 5, 2009 8:54 pm

Anybody have experience at either Stifel or Raymond James employee channel? Whats it like, whats good and bad, what are the payouts like, culture, etc???
Whats a respectable level of production  at these firms? Do the managers produce? Do they have good fee based platforms or are they more transactional. 

Feb 5, 2009 9:38 pm

I can only speak from my recent experience.  I just moved to Stifel from Wachovia/AGE a month ago.  Being a former AGE broker, I am VERY happy with Stifel.  It is very similar to the way things were at AGE before the Wachovia trainwreck.  Culture is great...good home office support, small company feel, freedom to do what you want.  They are a little behind on certain technology but seem to be catching up quickly.  The great thing is that if you have a suggestion on an improvement, they actually listen.  Payout is 25% on first 8k and 50% for all production over that. 

From what I have been told by my manager, Stifel is looking for the $250-$400k producers that the wirehouses seem to think are dogshit these days.  My manager is a producing manager and the largest producer in the branch but seems to be very interested in my growth at the same time.  Just starting to learn the fee-based platform and it looks decent with lots of flexibility on pricing.  They do seem to be more transactional focused and the tools are excellent if you are a transactional guy.  Like I said, they really don't push transactional or fee-based...whatever you want to do is cool.

Hope that helps....

Feb 6, 2009 1:44 am
bagbysux:

I can only speak from my recent experience.  I just moved to Stifel from Wachovia/AGE a month ago.  Being a former AGE broker, I am VERY happy with Stifel.  It is very similar to the way things were at AGE before the Wachovia trainwreck.  Culture is great...good home office support, small company feel, freedom to do what you want.  They are a little behind on certain technology but seem to be catching up quickly.  The great thing is that if you have a suggestion on an improvement, they actually listen.  Payout is 25% on first 8k and 50% for all production over that. 

From what I have been told by my manager, Stifel is looking for the $250-$400k producers that the wirehouses seem to think are dogshit these days.  My manager is a producing manager and the largest producer in the branch but seems to be very interested in my growth at the same time.  Just starting to learn the fee-based platform and it looks decent with lots of flexibility on pricing.  They do seem to be more transactional focused and the tools are excellent if you are a transactional guy.  Like I said, they really don't push transactional or fee-based...whatever you want to do is cool.

Hope that helps....

 
I have some friends in that production level at AGE/WACH thinking about moving if this WF doesny work out. Do you know what they are offering on transition packages?
Feb 6, 2009 4:11 pm

Came from AGE to RJA, which is the traditional branch RJ setup.  This and Stifel were the closest things we could find.  Payouts similar to old AGE, product mix, autonomy (as long as you're being productive), home office feel, etc.  We're VERY happy, especially since our old buddies that stayed at AGE are clustered outside our door everytime we walk out to our cars wanting to carry our books, clean the windshield, asking if we've heard anything about retention...

 
Bottom line, this was a good move.  Nothing's perfect, but this is more like AGE than anything we could find.
 
Fact: Deals have swung down; it's become a buyer's market for brokers wanting to make the transition.  When we left (fall '07) the range with RJ was 60%-80% t12, with sweetness additionally in the form of comp. stock.  Don't know the numbers now, but our regional has told us that it's quite a bit lower.
Feb 6, 2009 5:11 pm

I've been at Stifel for over 5 years.  Came from another regional that was attempting to emulate a wirehouse (read lots of stupidity).  Had had two other offers when I came including one with twice the upfront and twice the backend (ML) but I knew I couldn't stand the culture.  I wanted a place to finish my carreer (I'm over 50 now) and the people and culture mattered as much as the up front.  I have not been disappointed and the reality has exceeded the expectations that were given me.  No lies, no spin,  no bullshit..ever. 

 
Payout is great, 25% of the first 8k and 50% of the balance.  Resets every month (you can't dig into a hole that you can't climb out of).  Bonus and deferred for anyone at 250k plus.  Technology started out good and has constantly improved.  Research started out OK and is now outstanding.  Our analysts are writing some of the best stuff I have ever layed eyes on. 
 
Fee based platforms are outstanding and you are given loads of pricing flexibility.  The guy that runs consulting services is A+ and has never declined a request I have made for special consideration (of course as you can tell I am infinately reasonable)  Insurance/annuity dept is also excellant and the available products more extensive than anyone could need.  Never any haircuts on any product, everything goes to grid.  Fixed income trading is also excellant.  The Taxable guy (steve boff) is another A+.  We also picked up an excellant options dept and strategest with the Ryan Beck aquisition. 
 
The deals offered now are the best I've seen during my time here, although if you're simply looking to get rich quick and be brain dead, go visit the swiss knuckleheads that can't understand why they can't make money on their US brokerage operations. If you want to be happy and work in a real business and run your book like a business, check us out.
 
Oh, and I forgot, I got as much SF in deferred comp as I could at $8.73/share.  When I vested it paid out at about $30 and you know what its worth now.  So the end of the story, my deal ended up being worth way more than the ML deal.  
Feb 6, 2009 6:05 pm

Quick. My basis on SF was 5.75

Feb 6, 2009 8:44 pm

I have read that employees own a lot of the stock of Stifel.  I like that.  It wasn't the case at AG Edwards.  Heck even Ben Edwards didn't own much.  If he and the employees had more ownership maybe they could have stopped Bagby's sinister plot.

Feb 6, 2009 9:55 pm

With RJA you can go indy to RJFS without moving your book or facing non-compete. Don't know anything about STifel.

Feb 6, 2009 10:51 pm

real deal old school stock brokrage firms looking pretty smart here

Feb 6, 2009 10:57 pm

Absolutely.  We old school AGE guys were told by Babgy and Danny that the "Universal Bank" model was the best thing out there.  They look like jackasses right now...

Feb 6, 2009 11:05 pm

With UBS sniffing around, that whole "competing on a Global scale" mantra is really starting to ring true...



On a separate note, I heard that Bagby will be on an upcoming episode of "Survivorman" on Discovery.

Feb 6, 2009 11:47 pm

Good point. When you live and work in bumf@#k Kansas, who cares about global domination.

Feb 7, 2009 11:48 am

What kinda of transition package would a 1mm dollar producer with 200mm in assets be looking at...

Feb 7, 2009 12:38 pm

You oughta find out who your regional guy is for SF or RJ, call him and chat.  At that level, I'd say you're still pretty golden.  The <400 guys are not getting quite as much attention in the RJ system as they were, but a thick, swinging stud w/200 aum would still make a splash in the RJ pond.  I'm assuming the same would be true of SF.


Point of reference:  At the peak of the deals, MS, C, MER were offering 150%-175% in our region.  RJ was never more than 80%, really more in the 60%-70% range.
 
If you're in the SE region, p.m. me and I'll give you the names of the regionals with RJ to talk with.
 
Feb 7, 2009 1:53 pm

PM me and I'll hook you up with the closest mgr for SF. Where are you located?



Feb 7, 2009 2:51 pm

I agree with beamer here...t12 of $1M and $200M aum would make you a big fish in the Stifel pond.  Always better to be a big fish in a small pond....

Feb 7, 2009 2:53 pm

what about 450k, 55 aum? Northeast, what kind of deal. UBS said forget it, too small.

Feb 7, 2009 5:13 pm

I've often heard that Sterne, Agee & Leach has a similar culture and background to Stifel Nicolaus and that they also have a Wirehouse Employee Division.  Perhaps worth exploring in greater detail.  I believe their website is:  www.sterneagee.com


Feb 7, 2009 6:38 pm
FVDA_Trade-PMR:

I've often heard that Sterne, Agee & Leach has a similar culture and background to Stifel Nicolaus and that they also have a Wirehouse Employee Division.  Perhaps worth exploring in greater detail.  I believe their website is:  www.sterneagee.com



WHO?????????????

Feb 7, 2009 6:39 pm

You would definitely not get a "too small" comment at Stifel with t12 of $450...