Smith Barney testing

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Jul 13, 2007 9:51 am

Hey all you affluent successful genius's... please tell me what to expect during my testing at SB. Going in next Wednesday and I know alot of you out there have first hand experience.

I appreciate your feedback and look forward to the good natured assault on my character, intelligence, integrity, and motives.

Seriously, any information will be greatly appreciated.

Jul 13, 2007 9:54 am

"I appreciate your feedback and look forward to the good natured assault on my character, intelligence, integrity, and motives."

You're no fun.

Jul 13, 2007 9:59 am

Beat everyone to the punch, that’s all…

Jul 13, 2007 10:08 am

Whom ~

"Barney won't be with Citi long, and they are going to need to start from the ground up again soon and they'll be offering lots of tchotkas so it'll really feel like family soon. And when they get sold, you might get some retention cashish (although I can't see why, anybody who will be at SB by that time will have been too something to leave anyway)."

please explain, I need your patient guidance

Jul 13, 2007 11:33 am

I would have told you about the testing, but it's been decades since I took those tests and I don't know if they have changed. When I took them there was an IQ test (they didn't refer to it as such but they used it as a preliminary screen) and then a "If you're so smart how come you're not rich?" test (a personality profile to see if you are supposed to be a salesman or a male nurse).

They just use these tests to screen out those that they would have anyway but that they might need to "show cause" at some point in the future. By this I mean that they can be broadly interpreted and if you have sold yourself to the manager in the first place the test can only hurt you if it is extreme (could help you on the other extreme, if the manager was giving you the test to have a reason not to hire you and you scored off the charts in salesmanship he'd be likely to reasses and give you a shot.)

Given the issues at Smith Barney, mostly that the are hemmoraging brokers and assets and as a result revenue to pay for the services expected at a full service brokerage firm; and, given that Citibank never really wanted Smith Barney in the first place (Sandy Weil cornered somebody Reed at a meeting and sold him on the idea of cojoining the two firms with co CEOs... sucker...) and had never really showed an interest in the retail investment side of the business anyway. With these givens, it is not unreasonable to expect that SB will eventually be sold to someone else (SB has a long history of different ownership).

Given that there is going to be a SB in some form or another going forward there has to be a rescue plan put into place. They are going to have to do something to allow the employees to think that they work for the bestest brokerage firm in the whole wide world. This circling of the wagons is going to be the "group hug" that creates a core ethos and mythology of the "new" firm. Being part of this transformation will be very exciting and will give one the feeling of being part of a family. There's nothing bad in that.

When the firm then gets sold, the aquiring firm will want to keep the core together (unless the sale comes before the transformation which then changes everything) if only to keep the brokers/clients/the MONEY in house. To this end they will probably throw some money at you to stay (assuming you have become an asset to the organization), which doesn't suck either.

On the other hand, if the firm is sold I don't see why they would offer big incentives to stay because everyone has been super incentivized to leave for a number of years now and if they hadn't taken the bait by now, chances are that they'd stay through the next transition too. But that's not the kind of poker that firms like to play.

Jul 13, 2007 11:52 am

That SB is going to be peeled off the mother ship is a rumor that has been rampant for years. Just like Merrill being sold to JPM or HSBC.

Granted, it seems Sally Krawcheck was a disaster as CFO, but do you think her recent switch back to head of SB is a sign that Citi is trying to pump resources into the unit? Or do you think good 'ol Chuckie just wanted to move her out???

Whomit- you seem to have a good grasp of the history and workings of C and SB, so it would be interesting to hear your further thoughts...

Jul 13, 2007 12:07 pm

Ditto blarm. I’d also like to hear what san fran has to say on it as well.