Wachovia Brokers

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Feb 21, 2009 11:10 am

I'm sorry for all of the disappointment, but welcome to the game of life. You guys are the one's who chose to be pimped out by a firm with name recognition, instead of having the courage to make it on your own name.  Sometimes, life has a way of pimp-slapping us. Either get back to work or change firms and get back to work. Don't let this derail your focus or your career will die. Good luck.

 
Feb 21, 2009 12:24 pm

fo' sho'.  it aint easy being greasy. get back on the corner n make the man some money.

Feb 21, 2009 12:31 pm

The firm's decision not to pay retention actually put me in a better position in the eyes of my clients. I told a few of my top clients about the recent call and they were very impressed. Actually, they were making a bigger deal out of it than I thought they would. They realize that I am not getting paid to stay just like they are not and they feel that I am firmly on their side of the table. This was a tangible way of showing it.

Feb 21, 2009 12:37 pm

Conditioning your clients to have positive feelings about you NOT getting paid....great business strategy!

Feb 21, 2009 12:41 pm
TXRep:

The firm's decision not to pay retention actually put me in a better position in the eyes of my clients. I told a few of my top clients about the recent call and they were very impressed. Actually, they were making a bigger deal out of it than I thought they would. They realize that I am not getting paid to stay just like they are not and they feel that I am firmly on their side of the table. This was a tangible way of showing it.

 
How can your clients be happy that you are getting paid a smaller % of the revenue you generate?  The monies that are not paid to the brokers just end up in Ludemans bonus check, as well as the checks of the branch/complex and regional managers.  It also ultimately ends up in Stumpfs pocket.  Wells is not cutting fees to any of the clients, they are just going to pay the brokers less.  Don't be a tool.
 
You can argue that no retention is good for shareholders, but are you guys getting any stock or options?  Will they reprice your AGE/WB options that are worthless?  Didn't think so.
Feb 21, 2009 12:49 pm

mnbondguy,



I was a producing branch manager for AGE for several years. I know how broker compensation works and I know how the firms haircut in various areas like profit centers. How about the branches at AGE being the only profit center? Bunk! They haircut the annuity payouts for the 20 years I have been at the firm. They all lie.



The clients don't give a rats a** about a smaller percentage of revenue. They DO care about having their financial advisor compensated for difficult times when they don't get squat. Talk to a few of them about this subject and it will open your eyes.

Feb 21, 2009 1:41 pm

Seriously TXRep, you sound like a Piker who went from one of the best firms in the world (AGE) and are now don't have kahunas to do what's right for the client, and that's to get them out of the mess called Wells Fargo Advisors.

 
While you rode to your clients home on your white horse, spewing the glories of not getting paid a retention, did take the time to let them know how the internals of our firm have been gutted over the past 12 months?  Did you also explain to them how their fees doubled across the board for nearly every type of account?  Did you tell them that our back office support is less than half as good as it was merely 18 months ago?  Did you tell your clients the reason why our top analysts O'Grady, Keller, and Rod Smith all left our firm?  Are you going to tell them that you now get compensated more for placing them in a FEE BASED program which is normally not appropriate or the least expensive option for your client?
 
If you are going to tell them the truth about retention, tell them the whole truth about how absolutely inept our "new firm" is to work for.....
Feb 21, 2009 1:53 pm
TXRep:

mnbondguy,

I was a producing branch manager for AGE for several years. I know how broker compensation works and I know how the firms haircut in various areas like profit centers. How about the branches at AGE being the only profit center? Bunk! They haircut the annuity payouts for the 20 years I have been at the firm. They all lie.

The clients don't give a rats a** about a smaller percentage of revenue. They DO care about having their financial advisor compensated for difficult times when they don't get squat. Talk to a few of them about this subject and it will open your eyes.

 
Since you are a branch manger, I am sure you see all the fees the hit the P&l at the branch.  Clients get smoked at WS especially hidden fees like that sweep program.  Ludeman takes lying to a whole new level.  If Wells really cares about the customer why not cut fees to them with all the money they are saving by not paying retention  bonuses? What do you mean by customer "not getting squat"?  How do you know what clients are getting from their businesses and employers?   
Feb 21, 2009 2:00 pm
TXRep:

The firm's decision not to pay retention actually put me in a better position in the eyes of my clients. I told a few of my top clients about the recent call and they were very impressed. Actually, they were making a bigger deal out of it than I thought they would. They realize that I am not getting paid to stay just like they are not and they feel that I am firmly on their side of the table. This was a tangible way of showing it.

 
Yeah sure dude ... what a crock.
Feb 21, 2009 2:01 pm

In your second breath if you're even a rep, which I doubt, you were getting them to fill out an envision.

Feb 21, 2009 2:35 pm

So when is John Stumpf and Danny L going to doing the road shows meeting all the advisors in the field?



Feb 21, 2009 3:16 pm
BlackKnight:

Seriously TXRep, you sound like a Piker who went from one of the best firms in the world (AGE) and are now don't have kahunas to do what's right for the client, and that's to get them out of the mess called Wells Fargo Advisors.



While you rode to your clients home on your white horse, spewing the glories of not getting paid a retention, did take the time to let them know how the internals of our firm have been gutted over the past 12 months? Did you also explain to them how their fees doubled across the board for nearly every type of account? Did you tell them that our back office support is less than half as good as it was merely 18 months ago? Did you tell your clients the reason why our top analysts O'Grady, Keller, and Rod Smith all left our firm? Are you going to tell them that you now get compensated more for placing them in a FEE BASED program which is normally not appropriate or the least expensive option for your client?



If you are going to tell them the truth about retention, tell them the whole truth about how absolutely inept our "new firm" is to work for.....





I agree with you that the firm is an embarra**ment. Terrible at managing our expectations. AGE is long gone, but the values and standards don't have to die with the firm. In fact, the values and standards weren't delivered by AGE, but by the employees. Management, led by Ben, were the ones that selected the employees to carry on this tradition.



Ask yourself if you are carrying the same standard with your posts that Ben would approve of. What firm would you go to that would pay you upfront to move that carries the same standards as Ben? Stifel might come close, but Ben would never pay you to move.



Wachovia has been an embarra**ment to all of us. Danny and his management team have muffed this one badly. Danny's announcement of no retention is the first decision that even comes close to what Ben would have done. Be honest and transparent with your clients and they will reward you. Tell them why you are leaving a bad firm (which I agree that it is bad) and going to possibly another bad firm for upfront money. Tell them everything! You won't do it.



The Smart Station is not so smart in many respects. I would rather had a Common Sense Station, but I came from the days of the Quotron and buying my own 386 PC to run Broker's Ally. Using that limited technology I was able to reach President's Council in my 5th year and Chairman's Council in my 8th year from then on. I watched a lot of my compensation disappear when my 50% stock award took a dump while it was still restricted. If you were a Chairman's Council producer you will know what I am talking about.



Respond back with any ad hominem quip that suits you, but ask yourself if it would meet the standards of a broker that Ben would be proud to hire.





Feb 21, 2009 3:34 pm
mnbondguy:
TXRep:

mnbondguy, I was a producing branch manager for AGE for several years. I know how broker compensation works and I know how the firms haircut in various areas like profit centers. How about the branches at AGE being the only profit center? Bunk! They haircut the annuity payouts for the 20 years I have been at the firm. They all lie. The clients don't give a rats a** about a smaller percentage of revenue. They DO care about having their financial advisor compensated for difficult times when they don't get squat. Talk to a few of them about this subject and it will open your eyes.



Since you are a branch manger, I am sure you see all the fees the hit the P&l at the branch. Clients get smoked at WS especially hidden fees like that sweep program. Ludeman takes lying to a whole new level. If Wells really cares about the customer why not cut fees to them with all the money they are saving by not paying retention bonuses? What do you mean by customer "not getting squat"? How do you know what clients are getting from their businesses and employers?   





I was a producing manager for AGE for 13 years. I am not the manager in our office. I went back to production as soon as I could after the merger. The writing on the wall didn't look favorable for the producing managers in the smaller offices for Wachovia.



I agree that the customers are getting smoked with our non existent money markets. I don't like the firms direction one bit. I do think there are a couple of firms out there like Stifel that are light years ahead of Wachovia or Wells for putting the customer's interest ahead of the firm's.



DL has made a string of bad decisions, but so did Bob Bagby. I hate to say that because I was very close to Ben, Tad, Bob Bagby, Rob P., Ron K., and most of the upper and middle management of AGE. I knew almost everyone. You get that way in a firm like AGE over a couple of decades. The first decision that DL made that was even close to what Ben would have done is the no retention decision. But Ben would have told us upfront five months ago.



What I mean by the "customer not getting squat" is that they are not getting any money paid to them just to stay and put up with all of the mess with Wachovia/Wells Fargo like we would be if we received retention. All of the bad that you say about Wachovia is true. It affect us AND the clients. Why pay us and not them? See the double standard and how it takes us further away from the client's side of the table.



Most of my clients are retired so your example of what they may get from their employers or businesses is a moot point.

Feb 21, 2009 3:38 pm
Gaddock:

In your second breath if you're even a rep, which I doubt, you were getting them to fill out an envision.





I am a rep with my CFP(R) and CIMA(R). What is wrong with having a client fill out an Envision questionnaire or something similar? I realize that an Envision is not considered a full financial plan, but it pretty good and a lot better than doing nothing at all.



Besides, what does it cost the client to fill one out? Nothing! What could it cost them not to do any planning? Pick a number.

Feb 21, 2009 4:02 pm
TXRep:

The firm's decision not to pay retention actually put me in a better position in the eyes of my clients. I told a few of my top clients about the recent call and they were very impressed. Actually, they were making a bigger deal out of it than I thought they would. They realize that I am not getting paid to stay just like they are not and they feel that I am firmly on their side of the table. This was a tangible way of showing it.

 
My comment was not about Envision, it was about your comments and how dishonest I believe they are.
 
Yeah I'm so sure the very first thing you did was go and brag about not getting a retention package. There is nothing wrong about Envision again, but if you were filling it out after you other comments it was all about getting paid for it. Disingenuous.
Feb 21, 2009 4:02 pm

TXrep...very thoughtful and honest post.  What do you think Danny's comp structure looks like?  He might not pay you a bonus, but he damn sure is going to get one. I also spend several years at AGE and know many of the same people as you.  I am sure you still have at lot of the AGE values, problem is that Danny doesn't.  I would have a hard time putting on a smiley face with my customers knowing the kind of games that WS plays.  It is sort of like trying ignore a pile of dog sh*t in your living room, even if you pretend you don't see it, you will smell it and eventually step in it.  They pay you a little as they can get away with and charge clients as much as they can. With lower payouts, brokers are forced to charge their clients more, take on more clients (which can lead to lower service levels with existing), or spend even more time in the office and away from their families....all the while DL and his gang fly around the country in their G5. 

 
Ben Edwards didn't pay up front cash, but he would give accelerated payouts for a year or so to entice producers and help ease the transition.  DL is no Ben Edwards, and for him to even mention his name is ridiculous.
 
I am sure you have seen this before, but here are Ben's comments from the shareholders meeting.

Edwards employees “feel lied to and betrayed,” he said at the meeting.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mr. Edwards received a standing ovation.

The firm’s employees “have been told all along the importance of remaining independent, and how if they contributed to that by working harder and doing more,” they could remain independent, he said in an interview. “And then this [merger] happens.”




Ben Edwards: Ex-CEO of Edwards had some unkind words about deal. Mr. Edwards feels the newly merged company will risk losing A.G. Edwards’ core values.

“We had this business of putting clients first, so our trading departments were service centers, not profit centers, and we gave people a break on money funds and everything else,” he said.

Richmond, Va.-based Wachovia Securities LLC’s “outlook is more like a bank, making money off of interest and spreads and things like that,” Mr. Edwards said.

Feb 21, 2009 4:11 pm

Danny is not Ben and doesn't even come close. I don't mean to infer that he was and I know you are not saying that I was. It was just the first decision he made that came close to what Ben would have done. The other decisions like his personal compensation, the fee structure for our clients, etc... are not anything that Ben would have done to his worst enemy if he had an enemy.



I didn't bring my AGE clients to Wachovia, the just swallowed us up like chum. I am trying to figure out what the best course of action will be for my clients over the remainder of my career then the succeeding planner for the relationships that remain. If I do right by them then I will be just fine. I am sure my company or carrying broker will benefit also.



FINET appears to be my first step so I can get away from the corporate/branch pressures in order to catch my breath and a**ess the next move if necessary. I just hope the que isn't too long. Does anyone know?



Feb 21, 2009 5:03 pm
Gaddock:
TXRep:

The firm's decision not to pay retention actually put me in a better position in the eyes of my clients. I told a few of my top clients about the recent call and they were very impressed. Actually, they were making a bigger deal out of it than I thought they would. They realize that I am not getting paid to stay just like they are not and they feel that I am firmly on their side of the table. This was a tangible way of showing it.



My comment was not about Envision, it was about your comments and how dishonest I believe they are.



Yeah I'm so sure the very first thing you did was go and brag about not getting a retention package. There is nothing wrong about Envision again, but if you were filling it out after you other comments it was all about getting paid for it. Disingenuous.




Believe what you will, but my first call after the conference call was to my top client to see his reaction. It wasn't bragging. It was being transparent about my situation and pointing out that this was the first decision that I felt was right from the Wachovia management. This client has been to the AGE home office for a VIP visit and had lunch in the executive dining room.   He has been with me nearly my entire career and would have the best understanding of how AGE compares to Wachovia of any of my clients.



Feb 21, 2009 7:23 pm
TXRep:

The firm's decision not to pay retention actually put me in a better position in the eyes of my clients. I told a few of my top clients about the recent call and they were very impressed. Actually, they were making a bigger deal out of it than I thought they would. They realize that I am not getting paid to stay just like they are not and they feel that I am firmly on their side of the table. This was a tangible way of showing it.

 
And how did they feel when they were forced out of their  AG Bank deposit and money market sweep progam into the lower yielding WS bank program that funneled their money to Wachovia Mortgage bank of California?  How did they feel about the new account fees, new account numbers,  higher minimum commission, having their free checkwriting taken away? How do they feel about all the research analysts that have quit? Did that make them feel like WS was firmly on their side?  I'm sure they where giddy about that too.
 
If this is your way of trying to make them forget how they have been getting screwed.. by showing that you got screwed too.... I guess that's one way to spin it.
 
 
 
Feb 21, 2009 7:43 pm
Client1st:
TXRep:

The firm's decision not to pay retention actually put me in a better position in the eyes of my clients. I told a few of my top clients about the recent call and they were very impressed. Actually, they were making a bigger deal out of it than I thought they would. They realize that I am not getting paid to stay just like they are not and they feel that I am firmly on their side of the table. This was a tangible way of showing it.



And how did they feel when they were forced out of their AG Bank deposit and money market sweep progam into the lower yielding WS bank program that funneled their money to Wachovia Mortgage bank of California? How did they feel about the new account fees, new account numbers, higher minimum commission, having their free checkwriting taken away? How do they feel about all the research analysts that have quit? Did that make them feel like WS was firmly on their side? I'm sure they where giddy about that too.



If this is your way of trying to make them forget how they have been getting screwed.. by showing that you got screwed too.... I guess that's one way to spin it.









No spin at all. Like I have said before, this was the first decision that Danny got right. None of us like the move from the 10 banks at AGE to the 3 at Wachovia. We didn't like the move to the bank deposit in the first place. Most of my clients were in the Openeheimer money market or the tax free and they didn't use it as a checking account.



We do miss the research analysts, Bill O'Grady, Mark Keller, and the bunch. They were great sources of information to talk directly with and bounce ideas. Not that they weren't infallible. O'Grady's Global Macro portfolio didn't light many people up. We invested heavily into the original Global Macro with Millburn two years ago. It really helped our client's accounts when we added that allocation.



Mark Keller was very good, but the AGE Equity Management portfolio seemed to always trail the likes of NWQ. It may have been due to him keeping so much cash in the portfolio at times it needed to be more invested. He did start to load up right before he left, but I don't know his allocations now. Maybe he got smart/lucky and went back to cash just in time.



New account fees? How about the fact that they are now being waived on the Command Accounts on the higher household values? I didn't have too many TAA then UAA accounts except for my larger clients that wanted those services. I couldn't get the fee waived at AGE unless I ate it myself.



You obviously didn't read my posts very well because I have been very critical of Wachovia in every aspect except the no retention decision.