Client percentage retention after move

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Oct 25, 2008 6:07 pm

This may be helpful for the guys considering leaving their current Beds of Affliction...Let's hear how well we've all done (truthfully) in moving our client base if we've transitioned before.  My bunch left AGE almost exactly a year ago and I was at 70% within 4 mos, with another 5% trickling in over the last 8 mos. or so.  Of the remaining 25%, there was 10% I didn't want, 10% that surprised me by not coming with me ("We just don't like change...It's easier to stay...My son just got in the business...We're moving to Phoenix...I'm going to take a full distribution from my IRA and become a commercial fisherman"(really happened),etc.)  The other 5% has just totally fallen off the face of the earth.

Recognizing the unique environment in which we find ourselves, a move now may play out differently, or may not.  What say ye?  
Oct 25, 2008 8:47 pm

I think it’s good to have realistic expectations and what you said seems reasonable. Not everyone will think it’s as awesome an idea as we do. Having never moved but having seen other guys move, it ranges anywhere from really low to almost everything moving over.

Oct 25, 2008 9:47 pm

what happens if you only can bring over 20% of your book? Does the new firm hold you liable?

Oct 25, 2008 9:58 pm

There’s certainly an expectation that you’ll be able to do more than that.  The backend of most of the deals that you’ll see will hinge on 12 month, 24 month and 36 month targets for assets and production, and there is a “did you pull your numbers out of your butt?” clause, in case you make the move, take the upfront love and then watch Avatar episodes in your office all day.  If you’re really wrestling with your ability to bring over more than 20%, you’d better think hard about it. 

Oct 26, 2008 9:32 am

I think some deals give bonuses for production goals but don’t make it mandatory. I see most places check the heck out of your last couple years of income, TT, assets, how much does your biggest client comprise of your total production, etc. Can’t blame them, I am sure firms have gotten the bait and switch deal from brokers.

Oct 26, 2008 10:26 am


  I was curious, because this market is pretty scary to investors, and they may not want to leave right now...and if you have only been in the biz 2.5 years, then you dont have many years history with them, and it is prolly not a good time to move. I have been called allot lately by other firms and im only doing approx 250k production, los2. not ready to move clients, especially in this market, thats just me. but i could use the cash money.
Oct 26, 2008 2:33 pm

I left near the top of the market last year and brought with me over 90% of productive assets.  97 of top 100 clients and about 155 of top 175 clients.  Which was very important, but also important was the 60 clients I left behind ON PURPOSE to clean up book.  Even some of the ones that stayed didn’t matter too much.  Decent assets, but no production from some of them. 

  I have a buddy that left in the last few weeks and has about 75% so far and still getting in touch with the rest.  Has under 5 that said no to the transfer, so should settle in around 90% once he gets to everyone he wants.    Now this is coming from AGE, which we always positioned as the client first, rep second, firm third.  Advisor-Client relationship was above the firm and clients knew that.  AGE name recognition was good, but nowhere in the ballpark of a ML, so clients knew advisor first in many cases.  These numbers would be much lower from other "firm mentality" companies. 
Oct 26, 2008 3:25 pm

Bringing 90% is impressive.  That represents about the best numbers I’ve heard from guys who have made the move.  However, cheeko, even with the short time you’ve had with your current clients, the temporary setback (and it will be a setback, trust me) you’ll experience  from a move may be strongly offset by your relocation into an environment that you’ll find much more conducive to your style and growth.  Some companies have a “Rising Star” or some such title for shorter tenure producers that are showing strong numbers and promise.  There may be some opps for you out there under some of those programs, even though you’re a bit below the 300 T12 number that you hear often as a floor in order to be considered for a move with some upfront love.

Oct 26, 2008 6:59 pm

I brought a meager 50%, but was able to cleanse my book, without being mean about it… But the benefit was that the 50% i was able to xfer went from up front loads to fee based, and that was the key… The other benefit often overlooked is the more people who were prospects but didn’t care for your firm or its policies. that now are willing to do business… Also depending on where you are going to and from you level of client could increase.