Another Team question

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Aug 13, 2008 4:02 am
First & foremost, I apologize in advance for posting a similar topic, but my specific question is a little different.   Through my own market intelligence, I found a buddy of mine in NY who connected me with a BIG team there.  I'm not talking quantity of FA's (10), but the sheer size of AUM.  I cannot disclose the specifics although I'd like to in order to get a better answer.  So I'll be frank, I'm still a newbie FA, but have a good trak record (documented) of success.  I know I will be successfull as a sole practitioner, but this oppurtunity is too good.   My question is and their question is..."what value do you bring to the team??"   I know that is a broad question especially since no one here knows me.  In fact, I have found that all the FA's on that team don't specialize or add a different core compentency.  Some have overlapping business practices.  I dont want to say something unique for the sake of sounding unique, but in all honesty my success wasn't because I was the smartest guy, had the fanciest resume, was the most well connected individual, but it was simply because I worked harder than everyone else and wanted it more.  Thats the answer.  I must add that I focus more on improving my sales techniques than my education on the markets. My business practice so far as been a combination of traditional things like managed money, fixed income, a little bit of insurance, yada yada.    Would this be enough to "sell" myself?  I mean, I know I can add to the growth of a team and turn small accounts to big ones, but what else would someone on the otherside want to hear?  Can someone give me an example or suggestions?  Anything is helpful.  Thanks
Aug 13, 2008 8:58 am

If they are looking for someone to pound the pavement and drum up new business, you might be the right guy.  If they are looking for an analytical guy that is going to do all the portfolio rebalancing and research their model portfolios, maybe it’s not the job for you.  But be honest with them.  Tell them what your strengths have been.  If there is a place for you, you could do well.  But you don’t want to end up being the proverbial “square peg” because you sold yourself as something you are not.  This is not from my experience in this industry so much, as my experience as a senior manager in a prior field.

Aug 13, 2008 9:19 am

In your worry to sell yourself, don’t forget to have some clear goal of what, exactly, you hope to accomplish by joining a big team.

Let’s assume for a second that you are EXACTLY what they are looking for.  Are they what YOU are looking for? 

Too often I see young bucks thoughtlessly accepting the premise that they would be better off joining a “team,” usually without having any real idea of what that will mean to them in the future.  Understand that a big part of the “teams are better” mantra is coming from the firms and BOMs, who clearly see benefits in teams … to THEM, because with teams clients are stickier.  Clients are much more likely to stay put if an FA on a team leaves, than if a solo FA leaves.

Sometimes teams can be great for certain people - especially the senior team partners, depending on the situation.  For the junior team members, it’s much less clear, and often morph in to nothing more than glorified support staff who eventually grow frustrated and leave, virtually clientless, to rebuild their book from scratch.  So long as the clients stay with the firm, this is still a great deal for the firm.

So what, exactly, do you think you will gain by joining a large team?