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New Law will make it easy to Unionize

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May 1, 2009 9:26 pm

Gaddock, in the industry, 80% of clients with AUM of 1m+ are considering moving their money. Explaining fees and rationalizing portfolios is the best way to capture that money.

  Yeah OK, I agree captain obvious but what does that have to do with the subject of this thread?   You may also want to add making money to the list. Making significant returns during the crash has brought me a plethora of referrals.
May 1, 2009 11:37 pm

We’ve been through the unionization thing before and it’s just never panned out.  Read this 2003 story for some background:

  My personal take on the issue is that the unions seem staffed by a combination of idiots and/or jerk-offs.  Sorry to be blunt, but that's how I saw things--hopefully they've change.  When I first started to call to speak to the old AFL-CIO staff, no one was ever at their phones or apparently even in their offices until noon.  You also had to call back several times before some subordinate finally arranged for his/her boss to return your call.  If anyone ran a business that way it wouldn't last long.  When I finally had some conversations, the sense of the discussion was that they really wanted to organize the cafeteria staff at Prudential and afterwards would give the registered reps a serious look (you just can't make that crap up).  They did call me back a few times trying to find out if I knew of any cafeteria workers or anyone at Pru sympathetic to that organization effort.  Now, don't get me wrong, in my prior non-legal career I was a union member.  Frankly, I didn't think much of the representation I got and thought there was far too much corruption, but I understood the value of being unionized and still think that honest unions do a valuable service for their members.   Then there was the other problem. RRs don't want to pay union dues and seem to love to spout all sorts of nonsense about free enterprise.  I say nonsense because at the end of the day, too many RRs are essentially captives of an abusive system that requires their registrations be housed at an employer/BD when they should be public registrations granted by the governmental issuing agency (just like lawyers, doctors, and CPAs). Moreover, this garbage that your license begins to expire when you're U5 is disgraceful -- does your driver's license start to expire when you sell your car or change jobs...does a lawyer or doctor's license start to expire when they leave their practice (no). As long as a professional satisfies Continuing Ed requirements and does not violate the laws/rules, then the license should be for life.  Similarly, member firms have too much pricing power when it comes to setting the payout grid. It's a take it or leave it proposition -- and god help you if you decide to leave and they want to retain the customers that you brought in.  The best example of how unbalanced the employer/employee relationship is can best be underscored by two simple facts.   1. No RR had a role in drafting the Protocol but every RR at the covered firms is captive to that agreement.  I'm sure that a union would have insisted upon more liberal terms.   2. Although FINRA is allegedly a self-regulatory organization, only member firms (employers) get to vote on rule proposals and elective office, but the SRO's rules and regulations frequently impinge upon the employment relationship and the arbitration forum that it runs is a mandatory forum for intra-industry disputes.  Like a union would tolerate such one-sidedness.   Don't get me wrong. I don't care one way or the other.  I don't love unions and I think that RRs have been foolish not to organize (if not a union then why not a trade group?).  Why 700,000 plus men and women wouldn't want to leverage those numbers into a powerful voice is beyond me.  And remember, I used to be an RR.   Bottom line: The unions just don't seem that interested in organizing Wall Street.  RRs don't seem inclined to join, much less pay dues.  [/quote]

Bill, you and I share similar opinions of Unions. I've seen Unions screw things up to the point it's nearly unbelievable.

As to your point #1) I disagree- RR's in management were involved with protocol (at least at the wirehouse I was with). Granted, they were senior managers, but many were former producers. Whatever one may think about the protocol, I believe it's disingenuous to say no RR's were involved.

I think your #2 point is spot on: How about the poor bastard who worked for Pru (Sihpol, wasn't it??) who had to SUE his own firm to release documents that eventually helped him prevail when he got his day in court RE late-trading?

May 3, 2009 11:08 pm

A RR in management doesn’t count.  A RR in management is management, the group Bill’s idea was meant to protect RRs from.