Move to Ray Jay

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May 24, 2008 11:41 am

I have been getting called on by RJF. Anyone that works there or is looking to move there have any feedback? They seem to be a pretty stand up organization and the company has no subprime asbestos to deal with.

May 24, 2008 5:30 pm

I'm with RJFS, overall I won't complain.  Every place has some minor hangups, but coming from Jones a year ago, I'm pretty happy with them.

May 25, 2008 3:11 am

Dark Knight:

  Any reason(s) you found moving from Jones to RJ, instead of any other independent firms? How's the payout, compliance, service, & technology issues so far?
May 25, 2008 8:12 am

Are you in the full blow indy platform or one of the others? What are the hangups in your opinion?

May 26, 2008 8:48 am

I like that they have no subprime junk in their trunk and clients seem to have a good impression of them. They also cap the fees in VA’s.

May 26, 2008 8:50 am

Yea, I like when an indy firm caps my fees. That’s a great attribute.

May 26, 2008 9:47 am

Do you like screwing your clients?

May 26, 2008 9:55 am

I don’t srew my clients, I believe in getting paid a fair fee, and I most certainly don’t believe an indy firm has the right to cap my fees. This is why I chose LPL, and not RJ. RJ is run like a wirehouse.

May 26, 2008 10:36 am

That is one thing that really gives me pause with RJ.  Capping VA fees gives me the feel of not truly being an independent firm and makes me wonder what else they’ll be changing unilaterally.  I did due diligence on RJ among others and it just had a little more of an “employee” feel vs. a “client” feel…hard to explain, but I remember how I felt.  In fairness, that was three years ago and I’ve never actually worked with RJ, so my impressions are just that.

May 26, 2008 11:02 am

EZ, that is a fair statement I think.

May 26, 2008 11:27 am

Here’s a question with an answer that might be “telling”

How does RJ cap VA fees. I don't see how they can for example, say to AXA, ok the fees you charge to our clients for the Accumulator  VA product are 3.4% all in. We are going to allow you to charge the client only 2.4. So do they allow the 3.4% to the client, get paid as they normally would and cap only what the FA gets, keeping the rest for themselves? If thats what they are doing, that really smells like wire. Can't  believe they would get away with that on an Indy platform, so how DO they cap fees?
May 26, 2008 3:39 pm

That is a good question - do they cap the M&E & the commission to the broker? I guess brokers there do fewer L shares and more 7 year cdsc as it might fall within RJ’s guidelines. I don’t do a ton of VA biz but it’s good to hear about the specifics. The group calling on me covers some of their overhead and their payout ends up in the upper 40’s which is pretty decent.

May 26, 2008 4:14 pm

It’s the one where a group covers most of their overhead, I think they are employed by Ray Jay, I think their benefits are through them as well so it’s one step below the full blown indy route. My familiarity with their terminolgy is pretty weak at this point.

May 26, 2008 7:10 pm

The description I got doesn’t seem to match up with any of the ones listed, maybe the employee model?

May 26, 2008 10:22 pm

I believe the VA products are tailor made for RJ. So the expenses and broker commissions were negotiated by RJ and the VA companies.  Bank of America was about to do the same this year but the idea got scrapped because there weren’t enough vendors interested in creating a new product (and having to license it in all the state insurance agencies).  A handful of companies had the new product ready for us but, thankfully, nobody else was interested.

May 27, 2008 6:29 pm

I think the group I am looking at is some sort of hybrid between the branch and indy levels.  Is anyone familiar with this setup?

May 27, 2008 8:27 pm

They are probably an Indy Contractor (90% payout) shop with the bucks to pay you like an employee.

May 29, 2008 1:15 pm

G, I work for the independant employee division.   You are a w2 emp not 1099.  Minimum gross to qualify is 500k.  No upfront $$$ as far as I know.  Payout is 75%+ roughly with no ticket fees. You pay 100% of expenses. RJ does pay your deferred comp and esop which can be substantial.  You run your own show hire your staff and pay all the expenses.  RJ will do your expense spreadsheet, write your rent checks etc and handle all payroll.  Do yourself a favor and visit the home office in St. Pete.  PM me if you like.

  RJ is an excellent firm, good management and direction.  Sometimes we lack at being cutting edge but we tend to let others fail and learn from their mistakes. Overall I think we will remain independant. Remember, AGE family and employees owned very little %age of stock. Tom James and family own a huge percentage of stock and so does the employee stock ownership plan.      GG do you work for Wach?  If so why don't you like it?     
May 29, 2008 4:03 pm

I think RJ is a good firm but the one bonehead move that bothered me about the firm within the last year was the move they made which allegedly cut Variable Annuity internal expenses and at the same time drastically cut the commisions on ALL VA’s in the RJ system.  If you don’t sell allot of these the change was a take away to your bottom line but if your book has allot of annuities this was a BIG negative.

I don't know of any other b/d that has followed RJ down that road. Otherwise their product plateform is impressive and they do have a good culture.
May 30, 2008 9:56 am

RJ made a major error with their annuity fiasco. Hurt their recruiting efforts in a big way.