A succession plan at Jones

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Jun 1, 2010 1:30 pm

If you are at Jones and plan to have your son/daughter follow you in the business....that may not be an option. Today Weddle said, "As for your desire to "pass on" a successful branch to a child, we have several great examples of how this can work very well, and we have also experienced some very disappointing failures. It will sound harsh, but your kids inherited a lot from you, but may not have inherited your work ethic. My strong preference is that we transition existing veteran business to individuals. Who have been tested and who have demonstrated both the skills and the work ethic it will take to continue to build that business"

Jun 1, 2010 2:14 pm

1. Sounds great, the amount of loser sons/daughters who inherit books far outweighs the amount of successes.

2. If Jim wants to hand the book over to veteren financial advisors then why don't we do that now when offices become open? It is much more reasonable for me to believe that transferring assets to new advisors is what is going to happen and that is certainly not in the best interest of our clients.

Jun 1, 2010 2:29 pm

Spam,

There is NOTHING preventing someone from doing that.  I think Weddle's point was that they don't want to just hire some 25 year-old lackey, get him registered, and unleash him on a $100mm book that took 25 years to build.  That would just be irresponsible - mostly to the clients.  What I have seen work well was where a son/daughter started with the firm, and built their own little book for 5+ years, THEN took over Daddy's book. 

Look at it this way, if you built your own independant wealth management firm, would you turn the business over to your kid that didn't have any experience?  You wouldn't.  You would have him work his way up through the firm, doing "research", servicing clients, trading, whatever.  Eventually, he would work his way into the "President's" role, where you would become "Chairman" (I'm using formal titles here), and step back from day-to-day management, until such time as you either died, became sick, or just plain tired of working.

Jones has NO problem with handing off books, but they want to see it done the right way.  As it is, they already require (I think) 3 years experience as an FA in order to take a Succession Plan.

Jun 1, 2010 3:15 pm

The bottom line is that if you RYBLAB, the only logical succession plan is to have some version of independence.  If you are truly answering to the "shareholders" that matter most (the ones you live with).

Jun 1, 2010 3:25 pm

WTF is RYBLAB? 

Jun 1, 2010 3:27 pm

I read that same Suggbox entry.  I didn't take it as Weddle saying that all FAs that are thinking they are building their books for their kids should reconsider.  B24 is very close to what I took away from Jim's comments. 

I look at my kids now and wonder if any of them are going to want my book when I'm ready to retire.  Maybe they will, maybe they won't.  I'm going to build it as if one of them does.  But I'm not going to just hand it to them.  I want them to figure out if they really want to do this for the rest of their career.  I'd like for them to spend some time in the home office, then become a Goodknight, build their own book for a while, then, once they are 110% committed to this, hand them the keys to the kingdom and walk away.  I figure I've got 25 years to build it to the point that they can just walk in and take over and live on Easy Street for the rest of their careers. 

Now, if I've got a lazy kid who just wants to play golf all the time or spend hours a week at the day spa, then no dice.  I'll find some nice young Seg 3 or early Seg 4 and give them a shot.  Or I can do a few Super GKNs and spread the wealth around a lot.   If none of my kids want it, I'd at least like to set up someone who has worked hard and deserves a shot at a good life.  I think Jones would rather have that situation than for me to just hand my $100MM book to a Seg 1 with zero experience.   

Jun 1, 2010 4:06 pm

[quote=B24]

WTF is RYBLAB? 

[/quote]

I think you have made my point.  What, did RYBLAB go away along with "Blue Chip" Pringles??!!

Jun 1, 2010 4:40 pm

Blue Chip Pringles...I haven't seen a can of those in years.  Wasn't that some UIT promotional thing that they sent to all of our offices? 

Run Your Business Like A Business - it used to be one of those things that Jones would say you have to start adopting into your thought processes.  I don't think they use the RYBLAB phrase anymore.  We'll see it every once in a while, but not very often.  The only reference to it on the system anymore is a newsletter article from 2009.

I think it's catching people off guard that Jones is finally taking their own advice.  Normal business owners don't hire or keep salemen who only work 25 hours a week and don't create profit.  They shut down franchise locations that aren't profitable.  Or they bring in new management, which many times is just a successful manager from a different location.  They expect profit.  Weddle said in that same Suggbox response this morning that Seg 3 isn't a worthwhile career goal.  If that's not writing on the wall, then you're pretty dense.  It's a wake up call to everyone that Jones wants you to produce.  They want you doing Seg 4 numbers.  Once you get there they're happy.  But you better be doing them if you want to stick around. 

Worrying about succession plans is great, but they're not concerned about your succession plan until you can prove you can succeed. 

Jun 1, 2010 6:59 pm

[quote=Spaceman Spiff]

Blue Chip Pringles...I haven't seen a can of those in years.  Wasn't that some UIT promotional thing that they sent to all of our offices? 

Run Your Business Like A Business - it used to be one of those things that Jones would say you have to start adopting into your thought processes.  I don't think they use the RYBLAB phrase anymore.  We'll see it every once in a while, but not very often.  The only reference to it on the system anymore is a newsletter article from 2009.

I think it's catching people off guard that Jones is finally taking their own advice.  Normal business owners don't hire or keep salemen who only work 25 hours a week and don't create profit.  They shut down franchise locations that aren't profitable.  Or they bring in new management, which many times is just a successful manager from a different location.  They expect profit.  Weddle said in that same Suggbox response this morning that Seg 3 isn't a worthwhile career goal.  If that's not writing on the wall, then you're pretty dense.  It's a wake up call to everyone that Jones wants you to produce.  They want you doing Seg 4 numbers.  Once you get there they're happy.  But you better be doing them if you want to stick around. 

Worrying about succession plans is great, but they're not concerned about your succession plan until you can prove you can succeed. 

[/quote]

I could not agree more!  The fact that the number of FA's making above 500k annually (1,000) is 25% of the RED Segment THREE's out there is a testament to EDJ finally waking up!  Wish I could be there to see it, but I got tired of waiting!

Jun 1, 2010 8:26 pm

[quote=B24]Jones has NO problem with handing off books, but they want to see it done the right way.  As it is, they already require (I think) 3 years experience as an FA in order to take a Succession Plan.[/quote] I know two newbs that are splitting an 80mm book in SC. Started in late 2008. She did ask however to require them to work in her office for a year before she handed the keys. Ex-pharma guy moved from two states away and is still there, the other guy is not. So you know, EJ was ready to hand the office over but SHE insisted on a trial period first.

Jun 1, 2010 10:22 pm

Great post Spiff and spot on from what I understand.

Jun 2, 2010 9:22 am

[quote=N.D.]

[quote=B24]Jones has NO problem with handing off books, but they want to see it done the right way.  As it is, they already require (I think) 3 years experience as an FA in order to take a Succession Plan.[/quote] I know two newbs that are splitting an 80mm book in SC. Started in late 2008. She did ask however to require them to work in her office for a year before she handed the keys. Ex-pharma guy moved from two states away and is still there, the other guy is not. So you know, EJ was ready to hand the office over but SHE insisted on a trial period first.

[/quote]

Let's not forget, there is not always an experienced seg3/seg 4 type person to take over a book.  And I am not saying they always do it the right way.  As we have discussed ad nauseum in previous threads, there is no perfect way to split up a book and make everyone happy.  You give it to veterans that know what they are doing, and everyone complains that this could have gotton a few newbies a great head-start.  You give it to a newbie, and all the veterans (and other newbies) complain that they don't deserve it.  There is just not one perfect way to divvy up or hand off a book.  In an ideal world, I think you would have a few newbie-ish FA's (like 2-5 years out) that have proved themselves already, that come in and work with the book for a year, then take it over.  But again, logistics often prohibit that.  For example, in my area, there are literally only 2 offices (plus my Legacy FA) that I would be able to accept assets from due to distance.  Beyond that, the next closest office is about 20 miles away and in a different market.  So I can't really complain unless I wanted to move.

Let's also not forget the inequities at the wirehouses.  Many FA's start from scratch on their own, while others are quickly brought onto $100mm+ teams. 

Jun 2, 2010 9:27 am

[quote=Remo Gaggi]

[quote=Spaceman Spiff]

Blue Chip Pringles...I haven't seen a can of those in years.  Wasn't that some UIT promotional thing that they sent to all of our offices? 

Run Your Business Like A Business - it used to be one of those things that Jones would say you have to start adopting into your thought processes.  I don't think they use the RYBLAB phrase anymore.  We'll see it every once in a while, but not very often.  The only reference to it on the system anymore is a newsletter article from 2009.

I think it's catching people off guard that Jones is finally taking their own advice.  Normal business owners don't hire or keep salemen who only work 25 hours a week and don't create profit.  They shut down franchise locations that aren't profitable.  Or they bring in new management, which many times is just a successful manager from a different location.  They expect profit.  Weddle said in that same Suggbox response this morning that Seg 3 isn't a worthwhile career goal.  If that's not writing on the wall, then you're pretty dense.  It's a wake up call to everyone that Jones wants you to produce.  They want you doing Seg 4 numbers.  Once you get there they're happy.  But you better be doing them if you want to stick around. 

Worrying about succession plans is great, but they're not concerned about your succession plan until you can prove you can succeed. 

[/quote]

I could not agree more!  The fact that the number of FA's making above 500k annually (1,000) is 25% of the RED Segment THREE's out there is a testament to EDJ finally waking up!  Wish I could be there to see it, but I got tired of waiting!

[/quote]

Did you really leave because other FA's were not producing as much as you thought they should?

Jun 2, 2010 9:43 am

I think his point is that they are making a lot of positive changes in order to focus on production growth, not just headcount growth. 

Jun 2, 2010 10:24 am

The problem lies in the history of splitting the assets. When I left, there was in 2006 they gave 2 failing FA's a 200M book. One was a close friend and goodknight of the RL and the other was friendly with someone in the home office . If you leave it up to them, there always will be situations that leave others scratching their heads. The bottom line is they don't care who it really is who sits in the chair.

If you want to leave a legacy for family, do it yourself and go independent or go to a firm that values your hard work by paying you for your business.

Jun 2, 2010 10:24 am

The problem lies in the history of splitting the assets. When I left, there was in 2006 they gave 2 failing FA's a 200M book. One was a close friend and goodknight of the RL and the other was friendly with someone in the home office . If you leave it up to them, there always will be situations that leave others scratching their heads. The bottom line is they don't care who it really is who sits in the chair.

If you want to leave a legacy for family, do it yourself and go independent or go to a firm that values your hard work by paying you for your business.

Jun 2, 2010 7:15 pm

This may not be the proper thread but I'm a producing transfer from AG.ED who took over a book ($35mill) at Jones from a veteran broker who stayed with Jones and transferred to another city within our region that another FA had vacated (larger book $70mill). 

I made this move a little over a year ago and moving my book into MAP and advisory has worked well.  The problem I've encountered is that the former FA (never a stellar producer) is continually contacting my clients (her former clients).  When I accepted this position the Home Office made it very clear that due to the circumstances of the former FA's move that leaving the book behind was part of the deal.  Now, I've been in this business for fifteen years and I knew that some of the clients would inevitably want to follow but now after a year the former FA is struggling to produce and I've lost about seven clients in the past month, totaling about 2.5 million for a grand total of over 10mill now. (About 7 mill left with her off the bat in the two months the branch was vacant, then St. Louis stopped it according to the Trainer)

Two of these clients, both in their seventies, called me last week to thank me for teaching them so much about risk, volitility, etc. and were very open about the former FA contacting them and were moving to her now that they had recovered most of their 2008 losses.  Another gentleman, who transferred out , kept shaking his head and telling my BOA that he "wasn't supposed to say" why he was moving back to her.

I hope some of the Jones vets that post here can shed some light on whom to contact if this continues.  I just really still feel like an outsider here as much as I've enjoyed the move and I've heard too many horror stories about going to the Reg. Leader (new to the role) about the way these things get communicated between the branches.  My seg. transition manager in St. Louis  said to go to the Region Leader but surely there is someone in St. Louis that could deal with issues like this more tactfully.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.---Thanks.

Jun 2, 2010 7:31 pm

Dude, that really sucks... I would threaten her life late one night or go indy with the clients that want to do business with YOU as opposed to her/EJ... good luck

Jun 3, 2010 9:46 am

Yeah, you are dealing with personalities now.  That's the downside of any business.  If you feel comfortable dealing with the RL, talk to her.  Or maybe even go to the Area Leader - but that person will likely just go to the RL. 

Here's an idea - go to the RL or AL and say "look, this was the deal when i came on, and I know Mrs. X is still poaching clients.  I appreciate that some clients want to stay with her.  That's fine.  No problem.  But some clients have made it clear that they have been ASKED to come with her.  I tell a lot of my old friends at AGE/Wach/WFA about how great Jones is, but now I am really having second thoughts about endorsing this move.  I only moved over with the understanding about what the deal was, and now it's blowing up in my face...."

Jun 3, 2010 9:51 am

You need to call your regional leader or your area leader.  The Jones policy is that we aren't supposed to actively contact another FA's clients.  They'll be able to see the branch to branch transfers and they should put a stop to it.  Of course, you could just call her and ask her what she thinks she's doing.  She'll probably give you some song and dance about those being her clients and THEY wanted to follow her to the new office, but from what you've described that's not true.  I think you'll eventually have to end up calling your RL or area leader and get them involved. 

How does someone who goes from a $35 mil book to a $70 mil book struggle to produce?  How do you double your assets and probably your client base and struggle.  That just doesn't make any sense to me at all.