SF and AGE

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Aug 27, 2007 6:40 pm

OK, now we know of two defects from AGE to SF.  Two - Wow - how many others are out there?  SF was publicly boasting a month ago that they would hundreds of AGE defectors going to SF. 

Aug 27, 2007 7:00 pm

Two pretty big ones. Lee was close to Bagby, having helped build  the California Branch system and was pretty well liked by the managers in his region. It's a major blow, at the very least from a PR standpoint.


AGE lost an nearly an entire office to RJ last week as well. 


As a former AGEr (I would have been considered regrettable attrition) There isn't a week that goes by that I don't get a call or inquiry from those looking to make a move. Most are being very strategic. Lots of branches trying to figure out how to move en masse without triggering raiding issues. Many (BOM in particular) are waiting til the February Fiscal year-end. Bonuses, two more fee based months, and maybe one more healthy 401k contribution leads to the current calm before the storm. The deals for top producers will still be there.


The reality is that 67% of all AGE FCs produce less than Crest Club ($350K) In the end the $6.8 billion question is; does Wachovia truly want these folks? There will be an exodus regardless but it may not be one of choice for a large number of AGE FCs.


Aug 27, 2007 7:44 pm

I think WB will do a better job than first thought at retention. Better than I first thought, at least.

Aug 27, 2007 8:03 pm

The reality is that 67% of all AGE FCs produce less than Crest Club
($350K) In the end the $6.8 billion question is; does Wachovia truly
want these folks?

 IMHO, that's an easy answer, "No."
 Keep in mind (I've posted this before) AGE owns about 2 million sq. ft. of prime office space in St. Louis, PLUS holds about $2,000,000,000.00 (that's Billion) in cash. Factor that into the $6.8 Bil selling price (of which almost $1 bil. was shaved off at one point due to WB's stellar stock performance) and you begin to see that retaining AGE's entire @$290k MEDIAN average production sales force maybe wasn't really of paramount importance to them, ever.
 On the bright side, guys doing @$300k who are still building their business will find that their practice is, in fact VERY profitable and desirable in the Iny business model.

Aug 28, 2007 10:24 am

Two pretty big AGE producers (team) just left a branch in my area for Morgan Stanley.  I know this because one of my "drip" prospects that was with AGE just called me out of the blue to transfer his account to me.  Told me his advisor left AGE and asked him to move his account.  That seemed to bother my prospect, so he called me.  He has only had the account at AGE for about 2 years (large 401K rollover), so he doesn't have a tight relationship with this guy yet.


My opinion is that most AGE advisors are not unhappy with WB, they are just taking advantage of the packages that are probably floating out their from other firms right now, due to the merger.  You have to think, what advantage would you have at another wirehouse over staying with AGE/WB?  After spending a year or so trying to move your book, I can't imagine you are that much ahead by moving (considering the retention package vs. package to move, ability to move all your clients, etc.).  Now, if the decision is stay at AGE/WB or go Indy, then it's a different conversation.

Aug 28, 2007 11:55 am

My opinion is that most AGE advisors are not unhappy with WB.


Having spent nearly two decade with AGE, and having a large number of friends and colleagues still there, with all due respect, you're simply wrong. If the random responses I get on a regular basis were part of a statistical model, the overwhelming conclusion would be that the clear majority are very unhappy. The deals have always been there. It's about the culture. A culture that has slowly receded since Bagby took over and will disappear entirely beginning Oct. 1st.


The reality is, there is going to be a lot of displacement as 250 offices are consolidated (i.e. closed) with all sorts of management overlap.


John Lee isn't the first big name to go and he won't be the last.


Aug 28, 2007 3:09 pm

"Culture", like a fine wine, matures.  If it doens't, it sours. I've listened to the whole "culture" BS since Bagby took over. The old AGE culture was qauint.  Just because it survived 100+ years doens't mean it could have survived another 100, or 10 for that matter. I am personally so sick of this "culture" issue that I want to puke. As long as I can grow my business and do what's in the best interest of my clients, I'm happy.  If in 2-3 years from now we find out that we don't like the "culture", we'll leave. 


I do believe that most people are not happy that the AGE name and company is disappearing but, that's life.  Are some/most unhappy? Of course. Most people do not imbrace change. I think it is very premature to write the obitiary on the "culture" of this new firm.  Will some offices close? Yes, of course but most won't. Will some BOM's be forced back into production? Of course. I know some BOM's that welcome that prospect.  If culture is that important, go hang a shingle outside the door of some small 3 room office in your town and you can craft your own "culture"

Aug 28, 2007 3:18 pm

If culture is that important, go hang a shingle outside the door of some small 3 room office in your town and you can craft your own "culture"


Will do. The sign will most likely read "Raymond James". Thanks for the advice!


 

Aug 28, 2007 4:17 pm

Run, Forrest, RRRRUUUUUUUUUN!!!

Aug 28, 2007 4:36 pm

If culture is that important, go hang a shingle outside the door of some small 3 room office in your town and you can craft your own "culture".


As a former BOM at AGE, and a current BOM with my new firm, along with a number of other former AGE managers, that's exactly what we've done and will do again.


The assumption that anyone who leaves a wirehouse automatically is relagated to "sub-prime" office space is laughable. I have the premier office space in our city, with virtually the same square footage of my previous office, with a much more efficient cost structure.



(see how diplomatic - not of mention of spelling or typing skills)


 

Aug 28, 2007 4:46 pm

It's gotta be tough to rationalize staying with a new (lower for most AGE brokers) payout grid, PLUS paying indy-level ticket charges, not to mention a SUBSTANTIAL 401(k) contribution cut.. Give Shredder a break. He's having a difficult time with "change", unlike the rest of us, who are embracing it fully..

Aug 28, 2007 4:56 pm
YHWY:

It's gotta be tough to rationalize staying with a new (lower for most AGE brokers) payout grid, PLUS paying indy-level ticket charges, not to mention a SUBSTANTIAL 401(k) contribution cut.. Give Shredder a break. He's having a difficult time with "change", unlike the rest of us, who are embracing it fully..



My payout WILL INCREASE. Don't do enuf stock business to worry about ticket charges. The 401k will hurt no doubt but, it's made up for in the grid increase. Change is good, I'm not afraid of it.

Aug 28, 2007 6:52 pm

Any assumption about payout is laughable seeing that it's not decided yet. And why would WB want to get rid of "67%" of it's acquisition? Maybe WB can improve production and get rid of the non-prospecting/non-producing fc's who were comfortable doing 250k and earning 100k-that's not all that bad.


In either case, fcs (including myself) will throw out speculation as justification for staying or leaving.

Aug 28, 2007 7:17 pm

Any assumption about payout is laughable seeing that it's not decided yet.

Oh, It's decided....and it's Wachovia Securities' current pay grid. (This is coming from my regional manager).

 Shredder,
 Good for you. That means that you are doing over $400k. You will indeed have a higher payout. I am most interested in the 4000+ guys (& gals) under $350k that will take it........ahhhh.....on the chin (wasn't my first choice of analogy).
 

Aug 28, 2007 7:34 pm

Well what was your first choice? Please, inquiring minds would like to know...

Aug 28, 2007 7:42 pm

YHWY..we shall see if you are correct..I guess your Rm really wants you to leave if he is telling you that lol...I guess you alone have the inside track to teh goings on in the boardrooms in STL lol

Aug 28, 2007 7:45 pm

Nest,
 IMHO, you are deluded if you buy into the whole "new, combined firm" nonsense. This was as much a real estate and cash transaction as it was a sales force acquisition. The AGE sign comes down, the WS sign goes up and, there you have it. A "new, combined firm."

Aug 28, 2007 8:12 pm

I am not doubting it will change! I just think you are deluded to think it will be a light switch flip to the WS grid.
Sounds like you are Buying into the recruiting nonsense

Aug 28, 2007 8:14 pm

I will take my same payout for the next year and see what happens..if I leave I will have lost nothing..and gained a year of the retention bonus and built my biz some more. The other firms aent going anywhere..good brokers can move in a year or two as well...well maybe the other firms are going somewhere lol..im sure more will be bought...man that would suck move and bought out by merrill lol

Aug 28, 2007 8:16 pm

Nest, you sure seem defensive. lol.

 P.S. I'm going Indy (or, as I call it, The Permanent Solution). I don't really see Merrill in my future, but, hey, that's just me.