Independant vs Bank program

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Oct 19, 2006 12:54 pm

Hi..Im in the middle of making a decision between joining an independant b/d and running my own show vs joining a  new bank program.

I value my independance but am hesitant b/c I may not be able to pay my way through. I grossed 300k last year at a bank program .

Anyone have any insight/advice as to what you would need to consider going independat vs abank with utilising their clients.


Oct 19, 2006 1:03 pm

Don’t forget the middle ground:  There are a large number of banks that like affiliating with indy fin’l advisors.

Oct 19, 2006 1:08 pm

This perticular bank program utilises IFMG..which is independant financial marketing group, part of sun life. I can go that route , or join an independant such as Royal alliance or whomever. My main concern is that I wont make enough $ going independant, but will ose my freedom going to bank. I like going out and visiting clients, being flexible, buildidng relationshps. Im not really looking for someone to criticze me for coming in to office  at 8:32 am if I was out night before with some prospective clients.

Oct 19, 2006 1:54 pm

Well, your gross is sufficient IF...and that's a BIG have the kind of relationship where bank clients will follow you in sufficient numbers to make an independent move work.  If you are honest with yourself, you have some idea about how loyal your clients are to you.  About 85% of the client dollars I targeted were loyal enough to follow me to independence without me having to chase the business and risk legal action on my one-year non-solicit agreement.  A good indication of client loyalty would be if (1) they followed you to the bank from another B/D, (2) They are you clients even though they don't have a checking account at your bank, (3) If they are not physically close to you (It seemed in my case that out of state clients were even less loyal to the bank), and (4) the client has been with you at least three (preferably five) years.  For clients who do not fall into these categories, it's more of a case by case guessing game, and you end up either pleasantly surprised or disappointed with a few clients.

From the sound of things, you do not appear very confident of making it as an independent (note spelling), and that's usually not a good sign of success.  I'm going to guess that you are relatively young and/or relatively new to the bank program you are at (i.e., less than three years) and/or new to the community, and that's usually not a good combination to go independent.  However, if I've misread you and you have good entrepreneurial skills, independence is probably best for you in the long run, based on your mindset.

Just understand that by going from one bank program to another, you may very well be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, and it may make sense to stay where you are awhile longer while you solidify your relationships and plan a successful jump to independence.  A new bank means a new non-compete agreement that may be worse than the one you are leaving.

Oct 19, 2006 2:25 pm

Thanks Indy one and Freedom...

Yes I am in my late twenties and have been in the bank program for 2 years. I will have to see what is the best fit for me now, the thing is How could I "take" the clients with me without risking suit. As well, I recently left the program b/c I felt like I was moving backwards with the narrow mindedness of the bank employees at the firm I ws with. It was constant friction btween bank staff and advisors. I did leaeve, so how would I go about trying to transfer these clients? As well, it may not be fair to label all bank programs with the experience that I have.

I only say what if, I did do 300K with the added distractions and managemnt reorg, how much if I received more support...

As well, I handled 25 million in investments, fixed/.variable annuities, and 40% wrap and bonds. Can I negotiate a transition package with my new bank or indy?  If so, how much

Thanks guys..

Oct 19, 2006 3:00 pm

I left about a month ago, but i Still have continuous contact with my larger clients and I plan to reach out to them when I land in a firm in the next couple weeks…Transition package?..Can I negotiate for it?

Oct 19, 2006 3:21 pm

You can negotiate, but banks are notoriously cheap and it will probably come with strings attached.  As to how much, I have no experience with transition packages into a bank since those were non-existent when I started in a bank program and I wasn't licensed.  Indies offer little, because there's not much to hold you there.  Typical indy package from my limited experience in 2005 is anywhere from 2-5% of trailing 12, with maybe another 10-20% in the form of a loan which must be repaid.

The fact that you are month out should light a fire under you to get a B/D lined up since a lot of clients won't wait forever, and some will view 1-2 month's of unemployment very unfavorably.  Bank management can be a bitch to work with, but you should never, ever leave without another job to walk into unless you're retiring.  I'm constantly amazed at how many people in this profession do exactly that.