Citigroup Inc.’s decision to reorganize its wealth management group into four divisions is a step toward averting clashes between financial advisors and private bankers and may attract new talent, recruiters say.
Author Archives: adaniels
JP Morgan has unveiled details of the compensation package it has offered Bear Stearns’ advisors, but opinions vary over whether it will be sufficient to retain disgruntled Bear brokers.
Recruiter Michael Wasserman, who heads Michael Wasserman and Associates, said that the newly created groups means that advisors specializing in ultra-high-net-worth clients who are jumping from—say Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers or the private banking division of Bank of America—may now find Citi a more hospitable environment than those advisors already at Smith Barney, who may find the arrangement confusing.
It may have been a rocky year all around for their parent companies, but the wealth management arms of the five major wirehouses continue to be a source of strength, posting record revenues and providing one of the only bright spots in an otherwise gloomy earnings period.
While 2007 turned out to be a rocky year for the financial services industry, 2008 promises to be even more tumultuous. New leadership is in place at Citigroup and Merrill Lynch after the massive writedowns stemming from the subprime loan and credit markets mess. And, the pain isn’t over yet.
The more things change, the more things stay the same, or so the saying goes. Since On Wall Street‘s last survey, not much has changed in the compensation landscape for regional brokers. It’s certainly not the “slash and burn” environment of last year, which saw massive cuts, particularly to the lowest producers.
This year, most of them call Morgan Stanley the darling of the Street. They predict that brokers will rebel against mergers. They wonder when management will wake up to the potential of female brokers. And they say the money for advisors to jump has never been greater. These are just some opinions from the industry’s top external recruiters that were voiced at On Wall Street’s eighth annual forum in New York. These 12 panelists, who came from as far away as California and Florida, all have ears inside the major firms. Here’s what they are saying–both good and bad–about the business.
Only one Wall Street firm is offering a guaranteed recruiting-bonus package totaling 200% of advisers’ trailing-12-month revenues. That firm, UBS Financial Services, set the record in March when it upgraded its best bonus following a branch managers’ conference, industry recruiters say.
They don’t think it makes sense for Merrill Lynch to be buying Advest or for Smith Barney to be adding Legg Mason. They fret over the quality of the remaining regionals and what that means for brokers’ career options. They see richer recruitment deals–but only for advisers willing to sign on longer. They think Morgan Stanley will take the steps necessary to rebound.