Merill vs Morgan training

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May 17, 2006 11:31 am

Can anyone tell me how these programs differ?

In terms of production/asset level requirements...

Structure, mentoring, and accountability...

Length of training time.

Why is Merrill's program considered better?

What do they do better?

I'm writing about it for Registered Rep. You can contact me at [email protected] if you'd rather talk privately.

Kristen French

May 19, 2006 8:47 pm

I went through the Morgan Stanley training program in February 2002.  The program had just shifted from a centralized program held at the <?:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />World<?:namespace prefix = u1 /> Trade Center to a regional training program.  After you passed the Series 7 & 66 it was off for two weeks of product & process. The majority of time and focus was on fee-based accounts, very little on transactional or relationship building or marketing. There was no time spent on operations, paperwork, or the work-station. Most of the speakers were from compliance and internal products.  Among the speakers was a gentleman who presented a book on Cold Calling.  The book contained a Yellow Rubberband to put around your wrist.  The idea was as soon as you felt "Reluctant to call"....SNAP!  You inflicted pain on your wrist.  You can't make this stuff up.  After one year, the survivors (8 of 28) had a follow-up training in Dallas.  Guess what?  The Rubberband Man was thrown under the bus and we were told that Cold Calling was a terrible way to build a book.  This was a complete 180 on philosophy as to how to market.  <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

When I returned from Dallas I had learned that the most experienced brokers had all decided to "retire".  Translation: Too much transactional not enough fee based so they let them go.  These were the guys who mentored the Newbie, helped you understand every investment, product, and process I would ever need.  Most important they had seen every type of market and client and knew how to keep their nose clean.  30 years in the business and kicked to the curb.

There was never any continuity to the program.  My branch manager also had no idea what to expect as well, nor was he directly involved in training or mentoring.  Morgan Stanley reminds me a great deal of baseball today...Great Past, Dismal Future.

May 20, 2006 8:28 pm

I started with Dean Witter, back in the early '90's. Back then, we spent an entire month in New York, training at the World Trade Center. My training class consisted of close to 50-70 people. The trainers commented about there being a market top, given the large size of our class.

Cold-calling and seminars were the weapons of choice for any ambitious broker. In fact, we cold-called our home cities from New York. At that time, the proprietary product to push was a new mutual fund based on the Mexican peso and some other weird investments. (At the time, the peso was strengthening against the dollar.) The fund later bombed, after the peso dived.

We were tested at the beginning of the month-long training session. (Why, I don't know.) The test was a watered-down version of the 7.  One guy failed the test and was sent packing. We were also given $200 each to last us the entire month. Only our rooms (Vista Hotel) and breakfast were provided. Everything else was out-of-pocket. I ate a lot of single slice pizza from Sbarro's, for supper (otherwise called dinner by Yankees).

Our parade of instructors included compliance, BOM-trainees, and some successful brokers from Atlanta who gave seminars in Sears stores. Don't laugh, they had some serious AUM and the seminars didn't cost them a dime. (They advertised the seminars in Sears stores.)

Looking back, I didn't take the training seriously and was ill-prepared to face what lay before me. At that time, there was no mentoring or follow-up by the branch manager, who was a non-producing BOM. There's a lot I would change about that particular training program and a lot I would change about how I approached it, but that's irrelevant now.

May 22, 2006 11:53 am

hey, thanks for your feedback!

May 22, 2006 11:55 am

actually, though, if anyone has anything to add – particularly specifics about what the production benchmarks are after you reach the 8-month cutoff…and how much more coaching the trainees in the leadership group get…I would be much obliged…