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Mar 1, 2006 12:24 pm

Has anyone here in the past or currently work for Merrill Lynch?  What was your experience? Good? Bad? Ugly?

Thanks!

Mar 1, 2006 1:24 pm

Its a horrible firm. Absolutely no name recognition with wealthy clients, limited product offering, sleazy brokers, inept management, terrible technology, and the asset goals are laughable (way too easy).

Mar 1, 2006 1:51 pm

Merrill Who?

Mar 1, 2006 2:00 pm

Never worked there but have been around enough to know it's a great firm that expects a lot from you.  Most people who work there that I know love the company.  Individual experiences will be more influenced by the local branch you work for just like all firms.  If I was single without kids I would have persued a position at Merrill with Smith Barney being a close second. 

Mar 1, 2006 2:23 pm

I know two reps here that left ML. They where happy there except one day they brought in a new branch manager 


No one could stand her. Well the bottom line all the reps left and went to LPL and the ML office is now closed!


When I ask them to compare ML to LPL apples to apples! They tell me the technolgy is better at LPL. You do not have mother merrill looking over your shoulder!


The product offerings (platforms)are the same but the bond offerings are better a ML. None of them hold a grudge against ML like the reps on here that left Edward Jones do!


Mar 1, 2006 3:53 pm

I think the reason most former Edward Jones brokers hold a grudge for a long time after they leave the firm, is because the partners habitually lie to the rank and file. As for ML a good firm if you like structure.

Mar 1, 2006 4:29 pm

Advisor,


As a former Jones IR, you hit the bullseye!

Mar 1, 2006 6:01 pm

What kind of hours do they expect you to put in?  Some people I talk to are saying "Don't go there you'll be working 12hours/day 6days/week.  Any thought to this?

I was talking to a friend of mine that left to go there.  He has been there about 3 months...very happy.  He said I would probably go into the POA program.  He said first 2 years I would make $50k/yr salary no commision and after that I am all commission.  He said I have to have $15million at the end of 2 years or I'm booted.  Does this sound correct/reasonable?

Thanks!

Mar 1, 2006 7:29 pm

Bull


Think about this.  How are you going to find 15 million dollars in two years?  If you don't have the answer you haven't done enough research.

Mar 1, 2006 7:50 pm

Merrill is a good firm from my understanding, just depends on who your broker is from what I have seen.

Mar 1, 2006 8:53 pm

Merrill is an excellent place to take clients from.  I don't know where I'd be today without them.

Mar 1, 2006 11:07 pm

Mediocrity sucks.  ML will not let you stay as a new rep if you
are mediocre.  ML is a good firm, SB is a good firm, LPL is a good
firm, RJ is a good firm.  All with strengths and all with
challenges.  I have a bias based on my own experience, but do your
home work, stay away from negative enegy, attract to objectivity, and
make a descision.  Then go to work.

Mar 8, 2006 3:17 pm
bankrep1:

How are you going to find 15 million dollars in two years?



Actually, you have 12, 18 or 24 months to hit your target, depending on the package you get.

But it's not impossible.  Seminars are very popular, but you have to offer something besides "Wall Street 101" to attract HNW investors.  Also, spend some time early on developing relationships with lawyers, CPAs and other professionals who can refer to you.

Most of the POAs that I have placed at Merrill are still there...


bankrep1:

If you don't have the answer you haven't done enough research.



Absolutely correct.  Get a marketing plan together BEFORE you commit.  Make sure that the branch manager will support it (including paying for reasonable costs).  Also, be sure that the firm's product mix is a good match for your target market.



Mar 11, 2006 4:52 am

 Hey Cadieux, and you other guys "in the know"..OK Guys...  I need the scoop.  If you are starting out in this biz, (Dallas-Fort Worth Market) -- what's the best way (firm) to go???


Whatever firm I go with, I'd target CPA & Law firms -- estate, trust, divorce situations.   SB is the closest office to my home & definitely the best sales pitch so far, but I haven't spoken w/the branch manager yet of any of the offices ...


JP Morgan Chase has the SHORTEST time frame for taking the 7, and no base salary to start ... but with the in house referrals, is that not issue?   I'd prefer to go Private Banking, but right now all of the opportunities are w/UBS, ML, SB at the top end, ... should I interview with any one else for practice?


Any thoughts -- branch management equal -- on where the best launch pad (and long term B/D) situation would be?



.


I need FA "for dummies" ... can you translate to me the terminology,  EXACTLY what does "production" mean ... commissions or what?  I understand assets under management, but not the rest.   AND, what are reasonable production goals to shoot for in this business?  (I come from the Time & Billing grind... and am looking to make a move).


Mar 16, 2006 11:12 am
TXLadyCPA:

 Hey Cadieux, and you other guys "in the know"..OK Guys...  I need the scoop.  If you are starting out in this biz, (Dallas-Fort Worth Market) -- what's the best way (firm) to go???



Stop trying to identify the best firm in the business.  Start by figuring out the kind of practice that you want to run and then identify the best firm for you and your target market.


TXLadyCPA:

Whatever firm I go with, I'd target CPA & Law firms -- estate,
trust, divorce situations.  



Excellent choice.  Referral relationships are hard to establish but very effective. I'm assuming that, as a CPA, you already have a network of potential referral sources.  I also assume that you know about all of the conflict of interest issues for Texas CPAs.




TXLadyCPA:

Any thoughts -- branch management equal -- on where the best launch pad (and long term B/D) situation would be?




You mention SB, ML, UBS and JPM.  All are excellent firms.

It's hard to believe that branch management will be equal in every case.  Having a good relationship with your branch manager is just as important as working for a good firm.



TXLadyCPA:

I need FA "for dummies" ... can you translate to me the
terminology,  EXACTLY what does "production" mean ... commissions or
what?  I understand assets under management, but not the rest.  



There are some book reccomendations on our web site here.

Your production is the amount of total fees generated by you for the firm. 

The payout or commission is the percentage of production that the firm pays to you.


TXLadyCPA:

AND,
what are reasonable production goals to shoot for in this business?  (I
come from the Time & Billing grind... and am looking to make a
move).



A "Reasonable production goal" is a very relative thing.  The firm with the highest goal might also has the highest success rate, due to exceptional image, product and support.

I suggest that you find the firm that will give the best marketing support to your plan.  As a CPA, you'll see good referrals from HNW individuals and small business owners.  IMHO, it will be important to go with a firm that has good support for small business owners AND the businesses they own.