Smith Barney

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Nov 16, 2005 2:34 pm

I'm thinking about applying to Smith Barney.  But I hope someone can give me some info on how conservative the company is.  I've had shoulder length dreadlocks for years.  I've always kept them very neat, and pulled back.  They've never kept me from performing in any of my sales jobs.  I was a top producer at Merrill and in other sales positions.  Can anyone help.

Nov 16, 2005 2:49 pm

If you were a top producer at Merrill that is saying a lot.  Why aren't you there anymore?  What happened to your large book of business you had to have had?  As a top producer at Merrill you could have taken a million dollar up front check to come to SB.  What gives? 

Nov 16, 2005 2:57 pm

I smell BS.......Hmmmmm, dread locks, or......half a million a year in income......don't be so frk'n stupid..........dude.

Nov 16, 2005 3:14 pm

I was in Merrill's FAC (not the branch) division, so I didn't have a book.  But I was one of their top reps for that division. I'm not there any more, because they changed the compensation structure, and scope of my job.  IE I would have taken a huge pay cut. 


I'm aware the net allows for a large amount of BS as one replyer put it, but I resent the insinuation that having dreadlocks, makes it more likely that I'm lying about something.  That's the very damn attitude I'm trying to aviod, and the reason I'm posting my question to begin with.

Nov 16, 2005 3:28 pm

I could care less about your dreads personally. If you plan on representing a professional organization, I would'nt be too disappointed when they don't want to talk to you. There is an underlying message there......It screams...I AM ALL ABOUT ME AND MY WAYS!!! There is nothing wrong with being egocentric, but you have to show that you are willing to make consessions out of respect for,.........THE PEOPLE THAT PAY YOU !


Like it or not, this is a conformist business, if - you want help along the way.


Nov 16, 2005 3:43 pm

Well, if there's anybody out there that's at SB or knows about them.  Just tell me how they may feel about the dreads as long as I can sell; which I can very well.

Nov 16, 2005 4:00 pm

It very well may depend on the Branch Manager or supervisor.  Some may see it as unprofessional attire, some may not give a hoot.  Many times, policies like that are so gray that it comes down to the discretion of the manager.

Nov 16, 2005 4:38 pm
kashanti:

Well, if there's anybody out there that's at SB or knows about them.  Just tell me how they may feel about the dreads as long as I can sell; which I can very well.


Kashanti,


Do you plan to build a professional business in Jamica, with only Carribean clientele, at your own boutique firm??  Keep the dreads.


On the other hand, if you plan to work in the United States, at a major wirehouse, with a broad range of clientele, lose the locks.  As somewone else mentioned...it is not about you.


Visit a few Smith Barney offices and see for yourself.  This business has a certain expectation of what is professional and what is non-professional.  My Smith Barney manager considers Business Casual to be a button down, blue oxford shirt...instead of white with french cuffs.  Get a copy of the annual report and look at the people pictured on the book.  See any dreads?


Personally, I would LOVE to grow a pony tail and a full beard..  I think it would look great when I was ridding my '05 Goldwing.  However, since most HNW clientele do not feel a pony tail and a full beard is what a professional financial services person should look like...I choose not to.


This is America.  You get to choose...and so does the branch manager at Smith Barney.  I doubt he will ever choose dreads as a welcome addition to his team.


Good Luck!




On the other hand

Nov 16, 2005 4:42 pm

You were in FAC.  That means you were HANDED accounts you didn't have to go out and get, and you never dealt with clients face to face.  Totally different job than being a REAL Financial Advisor.  You didn't have to GET the account, all you had to do is sell existing customers (much easier, the hard part is getting the account). 


This job is all about perception.  If I was a manager, I wouldn't hire a white guy with a mullet, or a black guy with dreads.


Nov 16, 2005 5:05 pm

That may be true for ML.  But I have done face to face sales as well.  I sold insurance products to affluent seniors ages 60+.  A great deal of those people were middle age back in the 60's when just being black was a negative.  So if I sold them with locks, I can sell with locks now. 


I'm not concerned about getting business.  I can get as much business as anyone else in the branch even with my dreadlocks.  But if there's a high probably I won't get a chance to prove that, then I may trim them.  I'm never going to out and out cut them off.  I've been to successful with them to think thier a problem for prospects.  I just have to get past management. 

Nov 16, 2005 5:40 pm

I guess you really don't care about the job if you are this worked up over a haircut.


I asked a certain broker (he actually replied to you on this thread - he knows who he is) what "look" he recommended for the initial interview with management.  Since I already had a hurdle to overcome going into the interview (I'm very young compared to most brokers) I took his advice, and management noticed.  In fact, that first impression helped to convince him to overlook my age.  I was hired.


But then again, I was serious enough about all of this that I was determined to do whatever was necessary to land the job - even if it meant looking like a "stiff dork" around my buddies. 

Nov 16, 2005 7:28 pm
kashanti:

I'm not concerned about getting business.  I can get as much business as anyone else in the branch even with my dreadlocks.  But if there's a high probably I won't get a chance to prove that, then I may trim them.  I'm never going to out and out cut them off.  I've been to successful with them to think thier a problem for prospects.  I just have to get past management. 



GET OVER IT AND GO SELL YOURSELF TO THE FREAKIN LOCAL SSB BRANCH MANAGER.  MR I CAN GET AS MUCH BUSINESS AS ANYONE.

Nov 16, 2005 7:30 pm

IF THEY DONT LIKE YOU GO TO THE NEXT ONE.  THAT'S WHAT THIS BUSINESS IS ALL ABOUT.  I THOUGHT YOU HAD EXPERIENCE HERE.

Nov 16, 2005 7:32 pm

IF NO ONE WILL HIRE YOU THEN GET A FREAKIN HAIRCUT.  HOW HARD DO YOU WANT TO WORK AT THIS?  THAT'S THE REAL QUESTION.

Nov 16, 2005 8:53 pm

Personally I would get a kick out a go-getter that came in, broguht up
his dreadlocks right away, yet carried enought charisma to convice me
he could still get it done, despite awkward perceptions.  As for
my manager?  I don't think he would feel the same...unless you
could send your charisma to him as well...how good are you?  Go
interview and you will find out.

Nov 16, 2005 10:42 pm
BankFC:

You were in FAC.  That means you were HANDED accounts you didn't have to go out and get, and you never dealt with clients face to face.  Totally different job than being a REAL Financial Advisor.  You didn't have to GET the account, all you had to do is sell existing customers (much easier, the hard part is getting the account). 


This job is all about perception.  If I was a manager, I wouldn't hire a white guy with a mullet, or a black guy with dreads.




Would you hire a black guy with a mullet?

Nov 16, 2005 11:01 pm

Get a freakin haircut.  Not conforming shows you have an attitude.   Do you think Mrs. Smith who is seventy years old will invest with you?  I work for one of the big three.  Go to one of those offices and look at what they wear and how they look.  You must fit in.  If not, go independent.

Nov 16, 2005 11:03 pm

Interview: White shirt with conservative red tie.  The best shoes and suit money can buy.  Make sure they are shiny clean spotless shoes.

Nov 17, 2005 2:00 am

miss 70 yrs old will buy from me.  they have in the past.  they will in the future.  I'd go independant but the comp. issues are too much a pain the butt.


Some companies just want production, other's are, well tight asses.  I've come across certain companies that are like that, and stay away from them.  I've just been trying to get an idea about how SB is.  I wasn't looking to debate about is you can do this business with my hair style.  I already know you can, I have.  I'm not some counter-culture rebel.  If SB is looking for only a certain look over experience and ability.  then fine I know not to apply.  If they are looking for production, ability, experience, and PROFESSIONALISM then I can apply. 


And yes, you can be professional looking with dreadlocks.  There are plenty of guys on wallstreet with them.  Just because i have locks doesn't mean they look like Bob Marley's for goodness sakes.


What the hell I'm just going to go by their office.  If I got hired by Merrill, I can get hired anywhere.  It's not as if Merrill's the heart of liberilism when it comes to dress codes and such.

Nov 17, 2005 2:04 am
joedabrkr:
BankFC:

You were in FAC.  That means you were HANDED accounts you didn't have to go out and get, and you never dealt with clients face to face.  Totally different job than being a REAL Financial Advisor.  You didn't have to GET the account, all you had to do is sell existing customers (much easier, the hard part is getting the account). 


This job is all about perception.  If I was a manager, I wouldn't hire a white guy with a mullet, or a black guy with dreads.




Would you hire a black guy with a mullet?



If a guy walked into my office with a mullet and resume that showed he's performed well in all his past sales jobs, then I'd hire him even if his mullet was blonde.  maybe his market is guys with mullets and money.