Team structure/compensation splits

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Jan 6, 2010 10:14 pm

I am new to the business and have done a pretty decent job of building a solid pipeline and closing some smaller things on my own. I have been approached by a well established team who is looking to take on a marketing member for the short term, but to "groom" into a full partner (taken with a full grain of salt). The team has 1 senior partner who takes about 60% of the production, a money manager who gets about 40%, and an assistant on salary. We are going to discuss compensation in a few days, just wondering what people in similar circumstances are currently getting/being offered. Looking for anyone to elaborate on current splits. I am willing to forgoe salary for equity going forward - maybe 25% of all new business. Is that fair, low, high.....any input would be much appreciated. Thanks and happy hunting in the New Year.

Jan 6, 2010 11:35 pm
OkieMSSB:

I am new to the business and have done a pretty decent job of building a solid pipeline and closing some smaller things on my own. I have been approached by a well established team who is looking to take on a marketing member for the short term, but to "groom" into a full partner (taken with a full grain of salt). The team has 1 senior partner who takes about 60% of the production, a money manager who gets about 40%, and an assistant on salary. We are going to discuss compensation in a few days, just wondering what people in similar circumstances are currently getting/being offered. Looking for anyone to elaborate on current splits. I am willing to forgoe salary for equity going forward - maybe 25% of all new business. Is that fair, low, high.....any input would be much appreciated. Thanks and happy hunting in the New Year.

 
If they position it as you being a cold caller or another type of prospecter, then I have seen the person in your spot get screwed time and time again......Be Careful....
 
You may not want to hear it, but it's the truth.......
 
Marketing and bringing in new business is the HARDEST part of this business.......It takes time, dedication, an ability to overcome lots of rejection, and a little luck.......
 
You'll be doing all the grunt work, and if it is unsuccessful, you'll get shafted.
And if it is successful, you'll only get credit for a percentage of the assets and the gross.....
 
What are they offering you? No salary, and 25% of the gross generated from the new business you bring in? What are they giving you for the 75% gross you are giving up?
 
I wish you luck, but it's a formula I have seen fail many, many times......
Jan 7, 2010 10:50 am

50% of all new business you bring in the first year.  As the accounts ages, your share diminishes to something small to eternity.

Jan 7, 2010 1:01 pm

Go at it alone.  I have never heard of a team that  intrinsically wants to bring on a JR because they REALLY WANT another sr partner.  99.99% of the time they are looking to increase their revenue.  Since this is a mathmatical game if they are making more money then you by definition will be making less.  Let's face it, they didn't ask you to join their team b/c you are a great estate/life insurance guy who can leverage their book.  They asked you to bring them new clients, how can you be better served by not keeping those clients for yourself (after all, getting clients is by far the hardest part of any biz).  I don't know of too many truely charitable folks in this business who are saying to themselves "I'd like to find a good jr so I can someday give him a bigger chunk of my book and make less money myself".....

Jan 7, 2010 1:27 pm

Ask them if they have done this with any other rookies?

 
How did that turn out?
 
Also ask your branch manager what happened to the people that used to sit at your desk, or cube.
 
How many have been there before you?
 
 
I would ask him how many managers have sat in his seat before him and what happened to them?  
 
If it is like most wirehouses it sees more asses then a bar stool!
 
Here for a short time and gone!  
Jan 7, 2010 2:37 pm

The only caveat to this would be, if you are concerned about actually not "making it" in this business the first few years, this is a great way to cut your teeth and watch some experienced professionals deal with people with money (rather than you chasing $100/mo. DCA business).  However, make sure you have some way of "keeping" your clients when/if you want to go out on your own. 

Jan 7, 2010 2:39 pm
B24:

The only caveat to this would be, if you are concerned about actually not "making it" in this business the first few years, this is a great way to cut your teeth and watch some experienced professionals deal with people with money (rather than you chasing $100/mo. DCA business).  However, make sure you have some way of "keeping" your clients when/if you want to go out on your own. 


It is very tough to keep your clients when you are new and working with vultures....
Jan 8, 2010 1:15 pm
OkieMSSB:

I am new to the business and have done a pretty decent job of building a solid pipeline and closing some smaller things on my own. I have been approached by a well established team who is looking to take on a marketing member for the short term, but to "groom" into a full partner (taken with a full grain of salt). The team has 1 senior partner who takes about 60% of the production, a money manager who gets about 40%, and an assistant on salary. We are going to discuss compensation in a few days, just wondering what people in similar circumstances are currently getting/being offered. Looking for anyone to elaborate on current splits. I am willing to forgoe salary for equity going forward - maybe 25% of all new business. Is that fair, low, high.....any input would be much appreciated. Thanks and happy hunting in the New Year.



 
Rarely does this kind of set up work. I've been in the this business a long time, and everytime I've seen a rookie sign up with a team and do the marketing, they've ended up leaving the business. You'll be so busy bringing in new business for the team, that you won't be able to make your benchmarks. You'll end up sacrificing your career for those guys. Think twice.
 
If you decide to do it anyway, make sure your current book is left under your number---don't share it. When an FA leaves who is in partnership, the book is left to the remaining partner. I've known fa's who partner with rookies as a marketing strategy for themselves, because they know that roughly 90% (maybe more) of rookies don't make it in the business. There is one fa in my office who has built his practice by inheriting books from rookies who didn't make it. They'll "screw you" and smile doing it. If you're inclined to do this, make sure you do a 50/50 split with the business you bring in for the team. Don't lump your current book into the poole. Keep it separate.  A certain amount of time has to be allocated for you to meet your benchmarks. Don't let this kind of partnership become so consuming that you don't have time for your own business.
Jan 8, 2010 1:22 pm

As a followup to my previous post...In fact, I wouldn't sign a partnership agreement. Just get a joint number assigned, and put the business in the new joint number that is brought in jointly with these guys. Again, keep yours separate.

Jan 9, 2010 6:38 pm

I would avoid teams at all costs unless it was one of your own family members.  It's a trap.  True story.

Jan 10, 2010 7:17 pm

Be extremely careful about partnership.  A lot of brokers make it a point to grow their business by burning through trainees.  They may seem nice, but don't kid yourself.  They are more concerned about themselves then they will ever be about you.

Jan 15, 2010 7:52 pm

The only time that a team of this nature works is when it's:

1. Your best friend and he's Jesus (and rich)
2. The senior partner has so much business he can't collect it all. This type of relationship starts with them giving you a ton of assets.
Any other situation is very likely to work out badly.
 
If you choose to disregard this advice, insist that they give you enough assets to make your next year's goals, at least.
Jan 16, 2010 10:34 am
OkieMSSB:

I am new to the business and have done a pretty decent job of building a solid pipeline and closing some smaller things on my own. I have been approached by a well established team who is looking to take on a marketing member for the short term, but to "groom" into a full partner (taken with a full grain of salt). The team has 1 senior partner who takes about 60% of the production, a money manager who gets about 40%, and an assistant on salary. We are going to discuss compensation in a few days, just wondering what people in similar circumstances are currently getting/being offered. Looking for anyone to elaborate on current splits. I am willing to forgoe salary for equity going forward - maybe 25% of all new business. Is that fair, low, high.....any input would be much appreciated. Thanks and happy hunting in the New Year.



I have a lot of experience in this area from what "ve seen first hand in my office over the last 15 years.

#1 If I was starting out 99% chance I wouldnt waste my time being a marketing rep. Market rep is code word for being someones ( bitch ) basically. I dont want to be vulgar but that is what it is. I've never seen 1 case where it worked out and my office is real big.

#2 25% of new business is low. You're basically a rookie it seems. This is the 1 time where you can solely prospect ( if you are good at it ) and reap all the benefits for yourself. This is the 1 time you can make it in this business ( and it's real tough to make it in this business )

#3 Years ago I had a friend in my office who was struggling and he came to me for advice. The advice I gave him was to approach a certain broker who was older ( 50's ) whom I was friends with and approach him with the idea of him sitting in on some appointments with you for new prospects that you might have a problem closing otherwise and that having someone older might help you close the deal and you work out a split arrangement on the client with you getting the majority of the business.

It went so well after a couple of months that the older broker offered to bring him in on all of his referral appointments and new business where he was selling his people on the idea of continuity and that there was always someone there in the office since he was grooming a younger broker and they split all new business from each of them 50-50.

This turned into a full partnership a year later where they split all business and changed the %'s to roughly 70-30 the 1st year and each year the younger guy increased his %. Now the older guy retired and the younger guy now is doing well over 1.5 mill in production.

That's the best case scenario

Now the worst case:

Be careful of who you partner up with. I've seen guys gets screwed after years of putting there time in when the bigger broker decided he didnt want to split the business anymore because he spent too much money or he lost too much money in the market.

Branch managers only care about themselves and will side with the bigger broker 99% of the time. I've seen a partnership end after probably 5 or 6 years because another broker offered the bigger broker a better deal. Crazy but true.

I'd never sign a firm contract. They are BS and only benefit the firm. A couple of years ago the firm busted contracts with some friends of mine because int he contract it said they had the right to but the broker couldnt on their own.

I'd say just start with a joint production # but if you were opening up any accounts I wouldnt want to give up servicing the clients because then you lose all control. At least with a jt production # where you are servicing the clients and if the partnership goes bad you can jump to another firm and take your clients with you. If you arent the one servicing them then the clients arent going to know who the heck you are and you are screwed and just wasted the most critical part of your career for nothing.

Sorry for the long post but I can go on and on about the do's and dont's.

Jan 28, 2010 11:17 pm

Don't do it!  Unless they are willing to pay for all marketing expenses and you get to keep at least a 70% split since you brought them in the door, I would so no.