Saturday WSJ Article on AGE-WB
I'm an AGE broker and after the news broke about the merger I called all my clients to let them know what was happening.
Seems the primary concern that they have is that WB will start to pressure me to sell them certain products and services which may not really be what they need. They are worried about the effect that pressure will have on our relationship and will be paying close attention to the AGE advisor's recommendations starting now. They'll be sniffing for a sales pitch instead of honest recommendations.
I told them that the merger could be excellent for everyone but:
"If WB starts telling me what you (the client) need then it's time for us to leave". Many times the response was "I'm there because of you". "Where you go I go". "I'm with you."
I have no intention of compromising my integrity and selling products just for the commission. Maybe I'm stupid but I thought this was about financial planning and doing what's right for the client. Having a positive impact on client's lives while making a good living for me and my family.
WB has a nice opportunity here but they need to realize (and I think they do) that AGE clients want someone looking out for them and not just trying to sell them something. If they push too hard the clients and brokers will fly out the door.
Only time will tell.
As for the research department, that's why they are moving HQ to St. Louis. They bought one of the best research departments around, and I expect that they will be staying.
I do quite a few brokers who recently (past 5 years) joined the Bear and have yet to hear any complaints out of any of them.
...Yolanda...you've been busy working on that Miss NASD crown, eh?