After acquiring its way into the brokerage elite, Wachovia Securities is now trying to grow larger the old-fashioned way: organically.
Heading up the firm's new Individual Investor Group (a unit devoted entirely to the recruitment and retention of advisors) is David Monday. The Wachovia veteran, who had previously run the firm's independent advisor arm, spoke with Registered Rep.'s Will Leitch about his plans for the new division.
Registered Rep.: What kind of people are you looking for now?
David Monday: Our product client group is looking for brokers with $400,000 and above in production, good asset levels and a growing amount of business in fee-based products. Essentially, mature planning-oriented advisors. The independent channel is targeting $500,000-and-above producers who have the desire to own their business. The bank channel is active too — we're targeting advisors who are earlier in their career but like the notion of calling existing bank clients who already have assets with the company, because we have quite the referral list.
RR: Do you have a target number of reps?
DM: We've set a goal of bringing in 1,000 new financial advisors to our firm this year. And we're well on our way already.
RR: You have said that just as much effort will be made to streamline the workings of current Wachovia reps. What's the progress on that?
DM: We're really pushing on raising assets with our existing brokers. We have a very full calendar of specialized training for our financial advisors that we feel will help them be able to serve more clients and help them consolidate the assets of their existing clients.
We are attempting to maintain a small firm culture in what has become a gigantic institution. Most of our management comes from smaller firms, where they're used to having a very close relationship with our advisors. And we're attempting to maintain that.
RR: But the big push seems to be out-of-house recruiting. If a non-Wachovia rep with a production of, say, $500,000 is reading this, what would you say to them?
DM: We have 25 people making calls on a regular basis. If you haven't heard from us yet, rest assured, you will.