Going Indy?

or Register to post new content in the forum

38 RepliesJump to last post

 

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Mar 29, 2005 10:16 am

also, according to the same source

the average amount paid per producing rep at Raymond James Financial Services was $131,000, their min. production allowed was $250,000, and their average payout was 79.4%,

So, if the average paid to reps is 131K and they operate at around an 80% payout...this would make the average gross revenue per broker around 160K.  Which need I say is about half of what the FINET people averaged.

Mar 29, 2005 3:50 pm

Wehudt, I'm not saying that Wachovia FINET may not have a high average production for indies.  They should be expected to, given their short history, which I believe is only about 4 or 5 yrs old.  From the beginning they had a minimum requirement of $250k. 

RJFS' current minimum (for a new branch, not a rep) is $200k (your quote for RJFS of $250k is not accurate, and is NOT what's said in my copy of the OWS survey).  RJFS is 30 years old and for the vast majority of its history it's minimum new branch requirement was only $125k.  That was raised to $175k in 2000 or 2001, and to the current $200k in 2002 I believe.  The point being, for about 25 years RJFS recruited reps under the old $125k minimum, while FINET has always been at $250k.  Statistically, therefore, RJFS' numbers are heavily scewed toward its old $125k minimum, while FINET's are totally under its $250k minimum.

Also, you quoted FINET with a $310k minimum based on the OWS survey.  While I'm not questioning that number, just to be clear that's the number FINET published in its paid advertisement in the OWS survey.  If you look at the survey, as I said before FINET doesn't report any numbers; they didn't participate in the actual survey.

Regardless of average production, I'd still like Carrie (or maybe you) to point out all the additional resources that Wachovia has vs RJFS (other than bank services).  I'm not aware of any meaningful differences.

BTW, what's a "wehudt"?

Mar 29, 2005 5:35 pm

It's also per rep...many of the reps are employees of the brokers who manage the office.  RJFS has many employees of the individual branches.

Personally, I don't care what you say about Wachovia as I spent considerable time and effort doing the research and compared it to LPL and RJFS.  Both LPL and RJFS were superior to FINet in nearly every category.  As I said--Go there if the front money is what's most important--but I think there is much better available elsewhere.

Duke,  Wachovia bought an independent firm called JW Genesis in Boca, and most of the people who run FiNET are former employees of Wheat First & know little about the culture of an indy enviornment.  Wachovia has 250k account minimums, charges for mutual fund exchanges in the same family, their compliance is...well it's bank compliance.  I saw very little I liked there..other than the fat check they were ready to write.  No thanks!

Mar 30, 2005 12:34 pm

WEst of the Hudson, Down Town., Inc.

I got my figures from the reporter at On Wall Street that wrote the article.  I have known him for years...and he's pretty accurate, but who knows.  I am not saying that Ra Ja has a bad platform, etc...I have dealt with the firm for years and do like them.  All I am basically trying to indicate is that it's not "bad" to offer money and that they have a decent platform...with brokers that produce more than the average independent firm.  I did email one of the heads yesterday to get their "official" average per rep...as of...I don't know...whenever he emails me back.

If a broker is concentrating on financial planning, etc....I would definately take a look at Commonwealth...they have an ideal platform, great technology and support for that.

For trading capacity...there is a smaller firm out of Pittsburgh, Mid Atlantic Capital Group which does an amazing job.

Mar 31, 2005 12:27 am

[quote=wehudt]

WEst of the Hudson, Down Town., Inc.

I got my figures from the reporter at On Wall Street that wrote the article.  I have known him for years...and he's pretty accurate, but who knows.  I am not saying that Ra Ja has a bad platform, etc...I have dealt with the firm for years and do like them.  All I am basically trying to indicate is that it's not "bad" to offer money and that they have a decent platform...with brokers that produce more than the average independent firm.  I did email one of the heads yesterday to get their "official" average per rep...as of...I don't know...whenever he emails me back.

If a broker is concentrating on financial planning, etc....I would definately take a look at Commonwealth...they have an ideal platform, great technology and support for that.

For trading capacity...there is a smaller firm out of Pittsburgh, Mid Atlantic Capital Group which does an amazing job.

[/quote]

he may be accurate, but that doesn't mean his sources didn't feed him total BS!

Mar 31, 2005 1:21 am

This is true…most profound statement from you yet!

Apr 1, 2005 12:40 am

[quote=wehudt]This is true...most profound statement from you yet![/quote]

lol...thanks...I think!

Jun 30, 2007 11:27 am

I understand that this post is a couple of years old, but would like to bring it back up to the top of the thread for further discussion.

First, in regard to FiNet paying upfront money...this should not be seen as a negative for the firm.  It is a very wise business move.  Because FiNet has such a higher standard/level of what they are willing to take on, it makes sense to pay money for the production of higher producing advisors.  There is a reason why ML, SB, MS all are now paying near 200% of trailing 12 to get the good advisors over to their shop.  The fact that FiNet is paying 20% of trailing 12 to highly qualified advisors is a good move on their part. 

It has been mentioned that they do it "because they have to."  This is complete BS.  They do it b/c it makes business sense to attract the higher level producers.  RJ and LPL may not pay up front, but why would you fork over $$ for someone that is only producing $150,000?  They haven't proven themselves yet, so why pay them upfront cash?

In regard to the better platform...I personally believe that the platforms are all fairly similar.  It just depends on what type of practice you run.

These stories of losing an account because the client got mad at a teller at a Wachovia branch....I call BS on that too.  If it did happen, those aren't the types of clients you want to work with anyway.

I believe FiNet has made some significant improvement over the last couple of years (since this post originated) and would be interested in hearing the comments from those that posted earlier as to their thoughts now on FiNet.

I am not associated with FiNet in any capacity.

TIA for the comments.

Jun 30, 2007 3:02 pm

M/G...RJ & LPL are both paying up-front money, although LPL plays word games with theirs and calls it a "blotter credit" and it's "used to offset start-up expenses", although the reality of it is, they put it on your commission blotter as a contra-expense (income) and if you don't chew it up in expenses, it flows through along with your commissions.  No one polices what you spend it on so in reality, it's upfront money.

I received a blotter credit when I went and a 6-month interest-free loan also to help with start-up expenses.  When I started, blotter credits were typically 2-3%, but now I understand that these percentages are considerably higher, like 6-10% of trailing 12.  The loan was also 10% of trailing 12.

Since you're leaning FINET, I'm assuming that you're not with AGE?

Jun 30, 2007 6:39 pm

Maverick you can draw whatever conclusions you wish…

This much I can tell you-FiNet was the first to offer money, has been the most aggressive in throwing it around, and in the largest amounts.
And yet, their growth in advisors, # of advisors, and AUM has been pretty modest compared to LPL from what I understand.

ML or SB is paying 200% for big advisors because Morgan started doing that about a year ago, and now they have to do it to keep up.

LPL is still bringing on quality reps while paying far less upfront than WB.  What should that tell us?

I am not saying FiNet is a bad firm.  I just think LPL is better, certainly for me, and I’ve not seen anything that changes my conclusion.  I have no interest in exposing myself to bank management and bank compliance.

Jul 1, 2007 12:40 pm

Finet has the higher broker production average since it has the higher breakeven for the producer.  Get get too excited about broker averages.  Its your average that matters, but Finet system has to be higher to function profitable for WBank. 

Jul 2, 2007 11:09 pm

GoingIndy said: "Finet has the higher broker production average since it has the higher breakeven for the producer"

Huh?  Do you understand how "averages" work?  It has nothing to do with the breakeven point for the b/d. 

FiNet has higher broker production average for one reason....they hire larger producers than any other independent.  That in itself should tell you something.

No, they may not be growing as quickly as LPL in terms of advisors...but is that what you want as an indy?  A firm that is hiring anybody they can to get their headcount up (possibly in preparation for going public).

FiNet is doing it right.  They are only bringing on highly qualified, proven advisors who understand the business and the benefit of being independent.

Do you think there is a reason why the average is so much higher at Finet? 

Finet avg producer: $400,000 plus

LPL & RJ avg producer: under $200,000

This tells me that the bigger boys are leaning towards the FiNet platform - for a reason.

Anyone disagree?

Jul 3, 2007 1:11 am

I think the reason is the higher upfront $$$ Finet pays. Reps from the wirehouse/regional model who are used to anywhere between 100% - 200% transition packages will be more inclined to go w/ Finet since they pay the most of the indy or quasi-indy BD's (even if there are other BD's who would be better).

Jul 3, 2007 2:12 am

[quote=maverick/goose]

GoingIndy said: "Finet has the higher broker production average since it has the higher breakeven for the producer"

Huh?  Do you understand how "averages" work?  It has nothing to do with the breakeven point for the b/d. 

FiNet has higher broker production average for one reason....they hire larger producers than any other independent.  That in itself should tell you something.

No, they may not be growing as quickly as LPL in terms of advisors...but is that what you want as an indy?  A firm that is hiring anybody they can to get their headcount up (possibly in preparation for going public).

FiNet is doing it right.  They are only bringing on highly qualified, proven advisors who understand the business and the benefit of being independent.

Do you think there is a reason why the average is so much higher at Finet? 

Finet avg producer: $400,000 plus

LPL & RJ avg producer: under $200,000

This tells me that the bigger boys are leaning towards the FiNet platform - for a reason.

Anyone disagree?[/quote]

I don't entirely disagree with your post...just a couple of numbers...I read just today that the FINET rep production average is in the 280K range...nothing like 400K.  I'll try to cite the exact source when I'm in my office.  The article I saw did indicate that FINET had the highest average and you are correct about LPL and RK both being a bit below $200K.  The only point I'll argue is that the gap isn't as large as you cited...more like $100K than $200K.

Also, as far as the bigger boys leaning towards FINET, I'll respectfully disagree with that also.  The higher average is probably more of a function of a higher minimum ($250K at FINET vs. 125K at LPL).  Sure, LPL has a lower threshold and thus is attracting higher numbers, but I don't know that this necessarily means that bigger producers are choosing FINET over LPL and other indies.  Let's say that FINET recruits 5 brokers doing $500K each. That makes their recruitment average $500K.  If LPL recruits ten $100K producers and ten $500K producers, even though their recruitment average is much lower ($275K), they've still recruited twice as many $500K producers in sheer numbers.  Your point about numbers is well taken and of the few complaints and concerns I hear about LPL, the increasing numbers is at the top, although the end effect is still largely to be determined.

Although you've indicated that you have no current affiliation, you've obviously made a decision to join FINET and as far as I'm concerned, that's fine.  If I were you, I'd spend the bulk of my time and efforts on preparing for the move, rather than on justifying the move.  If FINET is the one for you, you owe me and the rest of the world no further explanation as to why (though the insight is appreciated)...just go make the move happen.  One thing you and I agree on is that the move to independence is a good thing...good luck with your transition...

Jul 3, 2007 12:50 pm

Nums I just read say Finet $416, Common W $310 Rjfs $285, FSC $249 and LPL $220.

The recruitment issue can include lots and lots of snark, for example I do know that Finet is persnicketty about a whistle clean U4 (not that I blame them) and I have not way of knowing otherwise for any other firm. The point is (as I see it) 1. They have had some very lame recruiters. 2. They are going after wireguys and as such compete with fat checks from other wirehouses (including several that I lost to the new Wachovia Securities branch opening up in my area. But at least I was pitching for a $600,000,000  AUM prospect, that's taking prospecting to a whole new level!).

I love it when I hear someone snark with distain about the Finet upfront, as if getting money upfront somehow taints the validity of your quest for independence. It's a business loan. The bank is going to make money off it, that's what banks are in business for.

If it weren't a loan then they ought to give out more of it. Christ on a cracker, the money that I generate for this firm annually is multiples of what they loaned me to move across (which reminds me, Zacko had said that Finet had a 250M account minimum, which was wrong, at 250M AUM in a household, the annual fees are gone, below 250M there are fees that are different depending on the level of services your client uses) between account fees, 7 dollar Postage, 85% payout (equity trades) and ticket charges,I generate plenty of revenue.

The upfront money is structured mostly as a working capital loan which dings your payout percentage by (I think) 3 percentage points. You are finished paying it when you have paid it off with interest and then your percentage goes back to the grid. It's a safe bet for the bank, but there is risk of failure in it too. This is not a whole lot different from you going to the bank with a business plan and getting a loan which you pay back with pretax dollars. If you leave the firm before you pay it back, you still owe what you have left to pay on it (it's a much better deal than the wirehouse deal where you are amortized by LOS instead of actually paying it off.)

I think that Finet would get a larger number of brokers if they gave you options like "we'll give you up to 100% of t12 but it will cost you up to 15 percentage points off your production numbers!"

Meanwhile First Allied is willing to lend you money to buy a book of business (Finet recruiters have been known to opine that the firm flirts with the idea of doing a deal with FP Transitions where they'll provide financing for books, but you know how big a grain of salt to take anything you hear from a recruiter with.) which is essentially the same thing on a bigger scale.

Jul 3, 2007 2:26 pm

OK...as promised, here are my numbers cited from the 10th annual Independent Broker-Dealer Guide: 2007 Survey and Resource guide - a supplement to Financial Planning magazine:

Under the heading of average payout, here are the numbers as I read them from some key firms:

LPL: 172,224

RayJay: 206,674

Commonwealth: 270,921

Wachovia FINET: 288,275

My frustration is that the various sources of this information appear to show some wide variation...how do we know who is right?!!

Some more good stuff...

Average production of the top 20% for each firm: LPL: 793,877, RJ: 671,101, CW: 718,219, FINET: 1,505,789

2006 Production Quota: LPL - 125K, RJ - 250K, CW -200K, FINET - 250K (interestingly, all firms showed significant numbers of reps producing below these stated limits, although I'm guessing these are probably under another OSJ for the most part).

There's all sorts of great information in this supplement, including changes in various revenue segments, so if you're curious about something, just post the question.  Better yet, get a copy of this guide (mine just came in the mail yesterday) and cut through much of the recruiter bullsh*t on the spot.

Jul 3, 2007 2:46 pm

Ok maybe I’ll get flamed for making a flip comment, but who really cares?  Does this really matter, or is it more important that you find a firm where the culture and technology and available support and products fit your business model?  After all, you don’t get paid on anyone else’s production except yours(unless you’re supervising other reps like Whomit).

No disrespect to any other firm or poster, but I’m at LPL and I’m happy with all those things.  As long as they continue to give me what I need, I don’t give a whit what LPL’s average production is per rep, much less FiNet’s or Commonwealth’s or RayJay’s.  I care about MY average production.

Sorry for the rant.  I’m afraid this has just degenerated into a “mine is bigger than yours” thread.

Have a great holiday!

Jul 3, 2007 4:24 pm

Also, from a wirehouse mentality, I know a lot of guys who won’t even consider LPL or RJ because they fall into the trap of needing name recognition which Wachovia has.  And these are big producers actively looking.   Especially the guys I know from SB or ML, they rely on name recognition more then they’d admit publicly. There’s a reason LPL/RJ bring in more jones/other indy/AGE guys, the name isn’t as important and they already think independently. 

Another reason the broker numbers are skewed a bit lower for LPL and RJ
is the larger number of reps with junior reps in their individual
branches.  They count each rep.  They probably also have more slouches
under 100k in the boonies happy making 60k working out of their
houses.  Not for me, but the fact that either RJ or LPL can be efficient enough to make a living for the lower end is more impressive than a model that really needs close to $350k to work(finet).

I’m an AGE guy who’s done some research the last few years having been to San Diego and Richmond(pre-merger), not St. Pete.  Got a kick out of the pimped out SUV in San Diego to and from the airport. 

I Continue to debate all options in my head as well, so this board has been helpful filling in the gaps. Have a good 4th!