Wachovia interview

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Jun 3, 2008 6:07 pm

I'm currently at BAI and I've started to talk to wachovia and I'm looking for a bit of guidance. I've seen the posts here about BAI and I know what it's like so please limit the bashing and sarcasm to a minimum unless it's really funny, in which case, please bash away.

 
Anyway, things are moving along and everything sounds great. What I want to hear is what to watch out for, do they overpromise things? What's the best way to deal with clients during the period before transferring? What unique situations or cultures exist at Wachovia that you can't get from their site or marketing material? Things like that. Any help will be appreciated.
Jun 3, 2008 6:17 pm

Are you interviewing with the bank side or Wachovia Securities?

Jun 3, 2008 6:53 pm

securities

Jun 3, 2008 7:49 pm

I have noticed a lot of experienced fc's joining Wachovia lately, and I am sure they could get more money at Merrill, SSB, MS, or UBS. It's too soon for me to give an educated opinion, as a legacy AGE guy.

Jun 3, 2008 8:10 pm

To often we think Corporate when we should think local!

In my experience your experience with Wachovia or any other firm will be more Dependant on your local manager, rather than the firm.

I've been in the business for 30 years, and I can tell you I've seen both good and bad managers working for the same company. You may be oversold, not by the company but by the manager.

I currently work for Wachovia Securities LLC. This is the NYSE member firm and the brokerage firm. The bank side is known as Wachovia Securities also, but doesn't have the LLC. Internally we refer to the two firms as PCG (broker) and ISG (Bank).

There are many reasons to work for WS. The firm is oriented to fees, but if you are a transaction type, thats OK. However you get to keep more if you have a fee based account. Take home pay is better than most firms. Technology is good, and getting better. The only negative in technology is that they don't have a decent contact management system.

There is no overt pressure to place proprietary product.  There are incentives to do certain types of business however. These incentives are in the form of cash awards, and some trips. They have a decent  deferred  comp plan, but here some other firms do better.

In my experience they do care for the client, and the broker is considered the owner of his book, unlike other firms. When an FA leaves, like most firms, the accounts are divided to others. The FA's are usually told to try and keep the accounts, but to respect the clients wishes, and not pressure or offer special deals.  It is rare that TRO's are taken against departing FA's, unless the FA has broken the rules and removed company property and records.

Wachovia also offer it's FA's a number of platforms which can increase their personal revenue. For instance "Profit Formula". This allows the FA or his team to receive a larger payout, while picking up a number of expenses that normally are paid by the firm. Most firms look askance at this program, but experience has shown that the "profit formula" FA's have greatly increased their production under the program.

I hope you find Wachovia a good fit, but remember my admonishment about thinking local and not corporate.


Jun 3, 2008 10:59 pm

same as earlier qoute....I smell Wachovia BOM....?

Jun 3, 2008 11:20 pm

marketguru, you forgot to say that when a Wachovia FA leaves, the remaining FA's will help him bring his boxes to the car.

Jun 4, 2008 10:16 am

If you're considering WS you may want to take a peak at JPM as well.

Jun 4, 2008 10:49 pm

Once again Groupie you need a nose job!!!

Answer me this

2007 not counting AGE 700 Reps Join 300 leave.

Assets 350MM ACAT in 156Mm out.


You may be a cynic, but the numbers really tell the story.

PS: RR Mag always shows Jones brokers believe they work for the best firm. HA, HA, HA, HA.






Jun 4, 2008 11:16 pm
marketguru69:

Once again Groupie you need a nose job!!!

Answer me this

2007 not counting AGE 700 Reps Join 300 leave.

Assets 350MM ACAT in 156Mm out.


You may be a cynic, but the numbers really tell the story.

PS: RR Mag always shows Jones brokers believe they work for the best firm. HA, HA, HA, HA.







In comparison to most Wirhouses I do the Wach is a good firm...in comparison to the old AGE they are not even close and getting farther away by the day...where is Tads office going to be lol!

Jun 6, 2008 6:55 pm

Just spent several days at a conference. 1/2 of the reps were AGE legacy. Most were happy, since they now realize that they will not be in competition with their manager. WS Managers by and large are non producing, while the AGE business plan had the manager as the top producer, allowing him to take clients away from the other FA's.


Jun 6, 2008 7:33 pm
marketguru69:

Just spent several days at a conference. 1/2 of the reps were AGE legacy. Most were happy, since they now realize that they will not be in competition with their manager. WS Managers by and large are non producing, while the AGE business plan had the manager as the top producer, allowing him to take clients away from the other FA's.




Never been a problem for me or anyone I know in 10+ years at AGE
There are good and bad managers at every firm.
How do those guys like the bank deposit program, and the wonderful 401k choices lol!
The problem I am seeing is that people like you think Wach is the end all be all...and that mentality will cause more defection from AGE, I am starting to get the feeling WB has no clue how to deal w AGE reps and does not understand the culture..it is clear teh WS mamgers like you are clueless by your posts.
Remember WB hasnt been a top 100 firm to work for, and NEVER ranked at or near the top in any FC/FA surveys...AGE did and there are alot of things you guys should learn from AGE before it is too late.

Jun 7, 2008 8:52 am

I do agree about the 401K choices. If it were up to me, I'd like a self directed, but it's not up to me.

As for bank deposit, it's the default, but you can choose a number of institutional money funds instead. I use Goldman, and Evergreen instead. You don't get trails if you go that way, but it's better for the client.

Wachovia believes in using the best of the best. So for instance, we will be adopting the AGE email system, The AGE insurance programs, Pathways etc. We will also be going to the double screen system in Feburary.

Apparently you can't read. I am not a manager, never have been, just observing and working in this industry for the past 30 years.

Which brings me to the culture issue. I agree that AGE had a different culture, Was it better? I don't think so. It was different. Can an FA find it elsewhere? I believe not.

Is Ed Jones for instance, the best place to work?, I don't believe so, but their reps apparently do, as witness the annual RR survey.

When the payouts are adjusted next year, it will probably be adjusted downward for the AGE reps, especially those whose annual gross is under $300K. They may be able to earn an amount equal or better than now, by joining with another rep in a profit formula team. Many of the present managers will become profit formula reps, as their offices are complexed and the manager becomes a non-producer. For the reps who earn over $300K they will actually get a raise when they include in the deffered comp bonuses.

What makes WS unique is the ability to take the best from other firms, I believe if the AGE reps give it a chance, their presence will help make a change. If they don't they will be unhappy, wherever they go.


Jun 7, 2008 11:42 am
Ferris Bueller:

marketguru69 - We do get paid on the institutional money funds 10 BPS. Says so right on the system.


WE do...we meaning AGE, but WS may not...I am guessing that will change for us next year too...part of only taking the best lmao! You know scale and scope lmao!

Jun 7, 2008 11:44 am
marketguru69:

I do agree about the 401K choices. If it were up to me, I'd like a self directed, but it's not up to me.

As for bank deposit, it's the default, but you can choose a number of institutional money funds instead. I use Goldman, and Evergreen instead. You don't get trails if you go that way, but it's better for the client.

Wachovia believes in using the best of the best. So for instance, we will be adopting the AGE email system, The AGE insurance programs, Pathways etc. We will also be going to the double screen system in Feburary.

Apparently you can't read. I am not a manager, never have been, just observing and working in this industry for the past 30 years.

Which brings me to the culture issue. I agree that AGE had a different culture, Was it better? I don't think so. It was different. Can an FA find it elsewhere? I believe not.

Is Ed Jones for instance, the best place to work?, I don't believe so, but their reps apparently do, as witness the annual RR survey.

When the payouts are adjusted next year, it will probably be adjusted downward for the AGE reps, especially those whose annual gross is under $300K. They may be able to earn an amount equal or better than now, by joining with another rep in a profit formula team. Many of the present managers will become profit formula reps, as their offices are complexed and the manager becomes a non-producer. For the reps who earn over $300K they will actually get a raise when they include in the deffered comp bonuses.

What makes WS unique is the ability to take the best from other firms, I believe if the AGE reps give it a chance, their presence will help make a change. If they don't they will be unhappy, wherever they go.



If WS is adopting the AGE Insurance system why is it all moving to Charlotte next month lol!
I don't beleive WS is a bad firm...just the lesser of the evils left I guess...it is unfortunate really.

Jun 7, 2008 12:02 pm

Nestegg

You are right about the lesser of two evils.

The story we heard was that UBS was preparing an unfriendly offer for AGE, and Bagby looked to WS as a white knight.


Jun 7, 2008 1:19 pm

that is complete b.s.....Bagby made the decsion to sell on his own, he approached wells fargo, that said no interest at any price, he went to WB and they put up a big#, end of the story. A few other WB facts, many complex manager are in production, resident managers will make no more then 1% of the offices gross on a good year, WB reps do not get paid on money funds, the instittutional funds do not sweep, you need to manually do it and your acct will pay a postage and handling fee.  If you forget to liquidate, or if a client is late on payment, you will get charged interest every day the payment for the trade is late at a rate which is about prime + 3.5% or so...I am sure some wb reps could verify this. 

Jun 8, 2008 11:23 am

Mnbondguy Stop drinking the kool aid.

While I can't verify what you said about WF, I can verify the UBS story.

I have been around this business for 30 years, and in that time have met and made friends with individuals who are now in other firms.

One of these was on the AGE board when they made the decision to sell, and why! Bagby couldn't make the decision by himself could he? The board member voted for the merger sale and verified the UBS story to me.  

A few other corrections.

"Many complex managers are in production." True, but most are capped. offices with 20 or more, BOM's are capped at $100K, others are capped at $300,000. Only the very small offices have totally unlimited production. That is the reason so many former managers have gone into the Profit Formula program.

"managers make no more then 1% in a given year". Actually manager compensation is based on P and L. They can also be bonused by office revenue growth. Since they have oversight of Profit formula groups, those revenues are part of their P and L.

"WB reps do not get paid on money funds". That's funny! I wonder what that number is on my grid every month!

You may be right about the transaction fees, I don't know since just about every portfolio in my book is either Asset Advisor or PIM. these accounts do not get charged transaction fees. Since every advisor in my office uses outside money funds it doesn't seem to be a problem.

We do get notified if a debit memo is issued on the evening before a settlement date. Reps and their ops managers have to be real dunces if they don't move the funds to cover the debit.



Jun 8, 2008 11:31 am

reply to Nest Egg Re: insurance

Previously WS maintained it's own internal insurance agency, with it's own reps. That agency was based in Minnesota. If we did business, it had to be through our local rep, and with the approved insurance carriers.

The Charlotte operation is only the compliance side. It is the same operation used by the bank side, and that is why it is based in Charlotte.

We now have the option of using an outside agency, who has signed a revenue sharing contract with WS, or going direct to a carrier.

I am under the impression that this is the manner AGE reps did insurance business.

I hope that answers your question.

Jun 8, 2008 1:32 pm

How does the deferred comp work for Fc's over 300k? If I was so inclined I know I could look it up myself.