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Feb 5, 2009 6:06 pm

I received a call today from a recruiter with this firm. I sent in an application and they called me the next day. I dont know if any of you work or have worked for them in the past. Any info on how the company works, training program, compensation etc. I set up an appointment to meet the recruiter for the 17th just want to know what to expect.

Currently I work with AXA Advisors and its like pulling teeth in order to get started with them. I have not been able to do anything with them as I feel that they just keep delaying when I can start soliciting business. I feel all of these firms are the same except for the Wirehouses that are affiliated with banks SmithBarney and Citi etc.

Feb 7, 2009 11:54 pm


  I once worked for NML in the NY metro area, and found them to be a well-run firm. They ennjoy a good reputation, and you ought to do well in competitive situations. Unlike a wirehouse, the emphasis will most likely be on insurance, annuities and the occasional mutual fund, not individual investment products per se'. One goo dthing they had which seems to be lacking in the wirehouses is a good direct marketing program. It's probbaly not done in the investment arena because people don't respond to it the way they do with insurance. If you're new in the business,  and lacking a developed natural market, it can be a good way to build your business in addition to other things you might try.  If your heart is set on being more of a registered broker than insurance agant, they may not be the place for you, but, this is not exactly a "buyer's" market for fa's without a very large book of business.  As far as how accommodating they are to doing busines on the securities side, I would suggest taking a look at the current comp. plan. It will probably look inverse to a wirehouse plan as far as where the lion's share of compensation can be made. Good luck.
Feb 8, 2009 1:40 am

Check out the thread on MassMutual.  Everything is virtually identical except the degree of captiveness (if that's a word).

Feb 8, 2009 8:38 am

I used to call on NML guys all the time…they believe in the 10-3-1 way to build your business.  10 contacts equals 3 appointments equals 1 new client, it’s all about contacts and numbers and referrals.  They are very much activity driven, all the GA’s subscribe to this model and the believe it works…if you do that you will be fine.  If not you will fail.  Great products, good firm, good training.  They are the cream of the insurance business.

  That said, 1 in 10 make it to 3 years.
Feb 8, 2009 3:18 pm

i think the biggest potential roadblock to your success at a place like NML (other than the obvious, activity) will be your willingness to sell insurance products.   if you have no problem being seen as an insurance agent who can do most anything, you will be fine.
having worked at NML myself, i will say this.  do not sign on the dotted line without talking to at least 1 other company.  either mass or guardian preferably.  all 3 could be good companies, but if the GA in your area is a deek, or the atmosphere less than inspiring, it would be a bad situation.

Feb 8, 2009 5:52 pm

NML owns Frank Russell, and I know they have also started an internal money manager for retail customers in the last few years.  I have never worked for them, but I beleive they are doing more then just insurance products.  NML has a very good reputation, and a strong balance sheet.  Do they still own part of RW Baird?

Feb 8, 2009 6:01 pm

they are more than insurance, but your contract with them will be based on a specified amount of insurance you MUST sell to keep a contract.  you cannot go there and plan on offering insurance “on the side.”  your production requirements will be centered on insurance.

this is neither right nor wrong.  but you should realize it going in.

Feb 8, 2009 7:06 pm

Both anonymous and theironhorse make good points about talking to NML’s  neearest competitors, which are Mass Mutual and The Guardian. All three have good reputations with the public and within the industry. I am only familiar with NML as far as the training program, and it is a good one. After talking to all three though, you’l have a feel for how they compare on that and other things, like marketing support, quotas, compensation, brokerage, and the like. As anonymous pointed out, one big difference is, NML is a captive agency, meaning, even if you remain in insurance, but leave NML, your clients will not be transferrable at all. I believe Mass and Guardian are different that way.  Not to say any General Agent will be happy or willing to give up your clients to another GA, but  at least there may be a chance that could happen. However, that’s You need to confirm on your own. I wouldn’t bring that up with NML, as you already know the answer, and could be seen as a red flag, that you’re not entirely committed to a long-term committment. But I definitely would inquire of  the other two, if not directly, then in a round-about way, like saying you had heard NML is a “captive” agency, and wonder if they know whether that’s true. That will open the door for them to discuss their own company’s rules, and even use it as a selling tool, if they have a non-captive program. If they don’t, then you may as well ask directly, because it is better to know up front than get the answer you don’t want three years down the road. Good luck.  

Feb 8, 2009 9:55 pm

With Mass or Guardian, the GA won’t have to give up the clients.  Just because the rep no longer has a career contract, they would still be putting the business through the same GA.

Feb 8, 2009 11:06 pm

Owning my book of business is so imporant to me that I don’t even want to talk to NWM.  I can’t imagine selling NWM products for 10 years and then have them screw something up and not be able to do anything about it. 

Feb 9, 2009 6:14 pm

Guys thank you for all of your excellent, well informed responses. As of now I am with AXA and its a constant run around with them. The idea of being an Insurance agent does not bother me since I sold Commerical Insurances to numerous businesses while I was in college. All my research points out that NWM is a great firm with great products and a sterling rep. My father said to see how the interview goes and take it from there. Compare what they can offer you as to what you were already offered at AXA and make an informed decision.

  As most of you stated, with the current situation of the market, it truly is much easier to push Insurance rather than securities and some Investment Products. From my talks with my family and friends who would be my natural market, they either do not understand the market and how to deal with the current crisis or they want to know how insurance works. I will go and see exactly what they offer and try to get a feel of the office. One more thing, AXA offered me a Salary and Commission, does NWM offer the same and do you earn salary while in training. Do not care about numbers, all I care about is working and getting my career off the ground.   Again to all of you thanks for the informative POSTS!!
Feb 9, 2009 7:39 pm

my experience with NML, and bear in mind it was 10 years ago, is NO salary, just the enhanced first year commission (and 2nd/3rd year as well)

  again, no matter how great they make themselves appear, i cannot recommend enough the importance of at least checking out 1 other place before signing on the line.
Feb 11, 2009 4:54 am

I interned at NWM, technically I am still under contract.  It is a 100% commission job with enhanced commissions for the first three years.  They want you to write 100 lives your first year.  NWM really focuses on insurance, that is the main product for their company.  They are trying to expand into the investment area, but still focus mainly on insurance.
They will also not pay for your series 7 until you have finished your first 10 lives, and they will encourage you to just get your series 6.  It is a great company with great products that sell themselves, but you have to be good at getting referrals. 
They do not want you to cold call or cold walk, but start by getting your friends and families as clients first and then getting referrals from them to build on.  I hope this helps.  If you have any other questions about the company pm me and I will be happy to answer them.  I love the company, even though I will be leaving to work with a company that focuses more on investments. 

Feb 12, 2009 12:46 pm

Hey thanks for the further info on the company. I am leaning towards staying with AXA as of now but I am going to the interview on tuesday. Luckily for me I already have my Series 7 and 66 and will be completing my NY Health and Life by the end of the month. I will see how the operation works and if it really blows me away.

  Thanks again for the disclosure!!