Decision on Firm

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Sep 28, 2010 12:17 pm

Hello everyone. I just wanted to get some opinions on my situation. I have been in the business for 18 months with Waddell & Reed. Things have gone fairly well there but I have decided to move to another firms for various reasons including reaching higher net worth clients and being in a more success office environment.

I feel I have a solid business plan going forward. I am in the interview process with Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and New England Financial. Merrill and Morgan offer a 50k base salary and tremendous training, I feel I could really acquire many high net worth clients there and learn from some of the best. Been through 3 interviews that went well and they really liked my business plan. 

New England Financial (Metlife) has already offered me a position. There is no salary. They focus a lot on insurance which I am fine with, actually a lot of my business at Waddell & Reed was lead by insurance. They offer consistent warm leads through their group insurance network. I really liked the marketing manager they would assign to me as well and the office environment. They liked my business plan as well.

Let me know your thoughts, all are appreciated. 

Have a great week everyone.

Sep 28, 2010 12:36 pm

At both ML and MS, you are just a piece of cattle, unless you somehow really blow the doors off. For all the hype, the customer really doesn't care who you are with, the "great name" of Merrill hasn't existed since they blew themselves up in 2000-2002, Morgan Stanley is a big name, but they don't have a very good brand awareness in the market, frankly, Smith Barney was a much better household name. If MS or ML don't like you, or your numbers are outside of some corporate box, you'd be fired at a moments notice. There is no warm and fuzzy at those places at ALL. Couldn't emphasize that latter point enough.

I'm not a big fan of being investment oriented at an insurance company, but if the leads are really good, well.... But, are the leads good, or is that just recruiting BS?

If you really are good at this, one other avenue you might pursue, is working in an Independent office, where you negotiate either a cost sharing program, or a fixed payout at say 50-60% payout.

Another viable option, is to bide your time. Maybe, while there is still this much uncertainty, you stick it out at WR for another 12-24 months. Your value might grow, and/or opportunities will improve.

Your post... there are many old posts (similar) you might benefit from reading. Dig, read, learn....

Good luck.