Why would a Legacy AGE fc stay?

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Oct 25, 2008 8:47 am

The only reasons I hear from my compatriots are:

  1. Wells will pay us to stick (we'll see) 2. Moving is a pain 3. Moving is a risk when the market it off 40% and clients are in the fetal position   What I don't hear as a reason is WS is awesome, management is great..you know, reasons that if you were an outsider looking to move to WS would prompt you to do so.  And for reason #1, most fcs messed up by investing some cash 40% ago in the market and are in the hole. Why would more money that you have to repay make things better?
Oct 25, 2008 9:16 am


reasons to stay: Universal bank model is the only one that will work. unbelievable haircuts.  (20%-50% payout is only on what they put in the grid). multi-layered management. higher fees to clients. ticket charges. the "same culture" as AGE. Has anyone reread the speech Ben Edwards made at the last AGE stockholders meeting?
Oct 25, 2008 10:33 am

Big question is go where? is it any better? I was joking with my manager that I was going to get a shingle and write my name on it and hang it just over my door. It seems to me everybody has the same issues.

Oct 25, 2008 10:34 am

I for one am glad to see WB go I hope Danny gets the boot

  uh  uh uh   uh uh   uh uh     uh uh uh  uh uh uh     uh uh uh   uh uh uh
Oct 25, 2008 10:49 am

I have heard three firms say they are like AG Edwards used to be. I am looking into each. AG Edwards used to get ripped by the analyst community for paying us too much in terms of comp and benefits. Unless these AG Edwards copycats weed out the lower producers, you would think they will be under the same scrutiny. One of the three is not publicly traded.

Oct 25, 2008 10:57 am

Now that the ML/BAC retention deal is out I would bet that you will have a package from Wells out within 2-3 weeks.

  I don't think you will have to worry about Wells paying the brokers too much compensation and benefits (use the bac plan as a guide) BAC basically screwed any rep under 500k.
Oct 25, 2008 10:59 am

the three firms that claim to be like AG Edwards are Stifel, Hilliard, and Ray Jay. Staying at a cruddy firm out of fear aint my style. I would rather risk a move to a healthier environment.

Oct 25, 2008 11:04 am
Gordon Gekko:

I have heard three firms say they are like AG Edwards used to be. I am looking into each. AG Edwards used to get ripped by the analyst community for paying us too much in terms of comp and benefits. Unless these AG Edwards copycats weed out the lower producers, you would think they will be under the same scrutiny. One of the three is not publicly traded.

  I guess the analysts just didnt appreciate a nicely profitable company with no debt -- that had happy empolyees and clients.    They liked the Lehmans, Bear Stearns, ML, etc  better... way to go analysts...
Oct 25, 2008 11:09 am

one thing i ask myself everyday is whether I don’t like coming to work anymore because the markets are down or because I never would have liked the WS setup.  I think the bad markets are an opportunity if you feel like you will stay where you are.  But when you think you might leave soon, all you focus on is your current clients.  New clients that you bring on 1-3 months before leaving are just going to be confused by what’s going on. 

Therefore, if you are thinking you will leave, Just Leave!   Now if i can only take my own advice.  GG is right, the key is a heathier environment where you will be more productive.
Oct 25, 2008 11:13 am

I was looking through a sort-of dated marketing piece from Stifel. It had a stock performance comparing all of the brokers and i-banks. Seemed odd to see BSC and LEH on there. SF’s smoked everyone else as you might imagine. Only concern about SF is they are growing too fast and are so lean and mean that they could have growing pains. I know they are sucking up old AGE guys like a Hoover!

Oct 25, 2008 11:13 am

GG, I’d recommend the recruiting trip to St. Pete with Ray Jay, which you’ve heard about if you’ve already talked with your regional recruiting VP.  Once you’re there, compare it to what it used to feel like when you’d walk around St. L. at One North Jefferson.  It’s not quite as large a complex, and there aren’t near as many cafeterias, but the people there are all attuned to the fact that YOU are the reason they drive to work every morning.  You’ll get to talk personally with Dennis Zank, and he WILL KNOW about your style of business, your hot buttons, your concerns, and especially what’s made you long for the warm embrace of consistency, stability and a focus on the “client first.”  'Memba that?

Oct 25, 2008 11:18 am

What about Janney or RBC?

Oct 25, 2008 11:22 am

I'm hearing good things about SF. They are indeed allot like the old AGE in terms of the back office support, systems, payout structure & compliance. As close as it gets in fact partially because they have absorbed so many age people in the past year. The concern with SF is their rapid growth & how they will adjust to that growth.

Hilliard - can't say I know much about them except they are mid atlantic based and don't have much of a precense outside of the region. I think they are now owned by a private equity firm that has a high concentration of grocery stores like piggly wiggley in their portfolio...makes me wonder if they understand anything about the business or if they will sell off Hilliard when they can make a profit.   RJ - I of course will be biased on my opinion because when I left AGE I came here & have not been disappointed.   The management here is very much similar to the old AGE mgmt style that is they set up the board for you to suceed and then get out of your way   Technology is great, compliance is your business partner not your opponent, back office always answers the phone in a timely fashion or gets back to you quickly, consistent execution of trades, no nickle/dime fees or expenses, wide fee based plateforms to choose from, fair grid & payout schedule.   One of the issues to determine is how to affiliate with RJ; indy, employee, quasi, or ria. Do your homework but you can't go wrong because it is pretty easy to switch to another affiliation if you decide to do so at a later time.   Downside - if you write a high concentration of new annuity business in your book your gross payouts are substantially capped under all RJ affiliations. I don't do allot of annuity's so this piece doesn't impact me.
Oct 25, 2008 11:22 am

Has anyone checked out Robert Baird yet?

Oct 25, 2008 11:25 am

or Oppenheimer, wouldn’t be bad to point to Merideth Whitney as one of your analysts.

Oct 25, 2008 12:49 pm

Any thoughts on UBS?

Oct 25, 2008 2:28 pm

What would make you guys all think that these smaller regionals like Stifel, Janney, RayJay, won’t eventually be bought out / taken over once they have accumulated the froth of brokers off the top? They will sell out to the big banks when the price is right. Look at how little Bagby gave AGE away for.  And as Bagby said, “We just need to be with a big bank to survive in this business.”  By that premise, won’t these guys need to be with the big boys too at some point in time?  I feel as if there will ultimately be 4 or 5 big banks running the entire show including the brokerage within 5 years.  I hope I am dead wrong.

Oct 25, 2008 2:57 pm

You should get the marketing material from SF, Bud Fox. In it, the CEO makes a stronger case for remaining independent versus Babgy. Plus the employees own the bulk of the stock. I laughed because in an interview he was asked if SF was a takeover candidate. He took offense to it and said Merrill will get bought out before SF will. This interview was done November of last year.

  Definitely a chance anyone gets bought out.
Oct 25, 2008 6:09 pm

nothing is forever, but companies like sf and rj are getting filled up with refugees from bad buyouts.  most of them would be angry about a buyout, willing to vote no on a proxy and vote with their feet if they lost.  not a great takeover target.

  Here's to long memories!
Oct 25, 2008 8:16 pm

LPL reminds me of AGE about 5-7 years back.   They’ve started to promote the name a bit more, compliance is very good and out of your way, trades, tech is good. 

  I know RJ has a the multiple structures, so if true indy is not the gig you desire, RJ would be better with a manager and branch office.  Visit both of them.  Well worth it.