Saturday WSJ Article on AGE-WB

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Jun 3, 2007 8:05 am
Jun 3, 2007 8:11 am
Pardon the typos, "I do know quite a few brokers who recently joined the Bear...."
Jun 3, 2007 10:15 am

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.  

Jun 3, 2007 10:27 am

The "weaknesses" I see with WB and their retail client base are these:

1. WB's equity research is not up to par with its peers (not enough sectors covered and no SUPER STAR analysts who nail winners often enough---BUY's which go up 20% plus in a year or so, HOLD's which trade flat, and SELL's which go down 20% plus in a year or so).

2. Still a few "issues" with PRUSec with respect to integration and "culture clash."

I haven't heard complaints from former PRUSec brokers who stayed on (or their clients) about "pressure to push house products."

I appreciate your comments and concerns for your clients. I think it's prudent to discuss this merger/acquisition with them and make them aware of your personal sentiments/plans early on as well as sending them articles about this merger/acquisition so they, too, can be as well informed as you brokers/advisors (collectively) are.

I wish you ladies/gentlemen and your clients the best going forward.

Jun 3, 2007 10:51 am

[quote=ymh_ymh_ymh]

The "weaknesses" I see with WB and their retail client base are these:

1. WB's equity research is not up to par with its peers (not enough sectors covered and no SUPER STAR analysts who nail winners often enough---BUY's which go up 20% plus in a year or so, HOLD's which trade flat, and SELL's which go down 20% plus in a year or so).

2. Still a few "issues" with PRUSec with respect to integration and "culture clash."

I haven't heard complaints from former PRUSec brokers who stayed on (or their clients) about "pressure to push house products."

I appreciate your comments and concerns for your clients. I think it's prudent to discuss this merger/acquisition with them and make them aware of your personal sentiments/plans early on as well as sending them articles about this merger/acquisition so they, too, can be as well informed as you brokers/advisors (collectively) are.

I wish you ladies/gentlemen and your clients the best going forward.

[/quote]

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.

Jun 3, 2007 11:07 am

Agreed, AGE equity research is good (comprehensive and fairly "on the money.")

Jun 3, 2007 1:17 pm

Last post today:

That Saturday WSJ article is available on-line (and free) to one and all. I didn't realize this until a few minutes ago.

If you want to access it, just do this:

http://www.yahoo.com

Go to FINANCE, select AGE, then scroll down to the press release (news) section.

Please accept my mea culpa for not realizing they (WSJ) made it a freebie!

Jun 3, 2007 1:27 pm

thanks for the heads up…it worked.

Jun 3, 2007 4:43 pm
Posted: June 03 2007 at 7:05am | IP Logged

[email protected]

FD: I am not a broker. I am not a headhunter. I am not with LEHman Brothers.

FD: I am not with Bear Stearns, either. 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.

If you are not affiliated with any of the above, then what is your agenda? Full disclosure also includes how you get compensated so please, do tell.

Jun 3, 2007 10:54 pm

I have quite a few former PRUSec friends (mostly 1st quintile ones). That WB-PRU merger was a bit of a mess for them. Out of the 8 who were 1st quintile at PRU, only 1 remains with WB. I think WB could have retained a few more had they offered more options.

I am compensated by no one to post on this message board. I do it for the good of the industry. Hope that answers your question.

Jun 3, 2007 11:41 pm

[quote=ymh_ymh_ymh]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.[/quote]

...Yolanda...you've been busy working on that Miss NASD crown, eh?

Jun 3, 2007 11:44 pm

Czarina of Global Securities Regulation is what I am going for now.

FD: those brokers all know better than to complain to me so maybe that's why I haven't heard any complaints!