Merrill Lynch Hires a Big Team

Posted by adaniels in Blog on July 25, 2011 - (0 Comments)

According to an article in Investment News, a four man team of financial advisers from UBS Financial Services has joined the Palm Beach Complex of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  This team manages $ 277 million in assets with a trailing 12 production of $ 2.5 million and will report to Merrill Lynch managing director James Chahine.

“The move registers as one of the largest moves of the last 60 days according to the Investment News Advisers on the move database.”

 Recruiting Financial Advisers within the wirehouses has been slow this year.  The main reason is that a large percentage of advisers are still under their retention packages signed two to three years ago. 

As the retention packages are worked off, recruiters expect to see more advisers explore their options after summer.


Bank of America was rated the number one wealth management firm for the second year in a row, according to an article in Investment News.  Bank of America had 1.9 trillion in Assets under Management with 4.2 % change from last year at year end 2010.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney was rated the second wealth management firm with 1.6 trillion in assets under management.  UBS was rated number three with 1.6 trillion in assets under management.  Wells Fargo was rated the fourth wealth management firm with 1.4 trillion in assets under management.

According to an article in Investment News, “market gains helped boost assets managed by these banks by 11 percent last year with the top 20 overseeing a combined $ 11.1 trillion, Scorpio said.  The rate of net new money inflows declined on average by almost 19 percent from 2009 and many banks saw margins squeezed, according to Scorpio.”


Is our government going to continue to keep their heads in the sand, or will they work out  a compromise?

 The clock is ticking. 

 How is this going to impact our financial markets?

Read full article here


2012 – The Year to Switch Firms

Posted by jwasserman in Blog on July 7, 2011 - (0 Comments)

In the past few years, the big wirehouses have spent fortunes on lucrative sign-on bonuses to attract top talent.  Financial Advisors were moving to the competition in record numbers during the financial crisis (2008 & 2009).  In order to stop the musical chairs, the wirehouses offered retention packages to stop the bleeding (the movement). 

According to a recent report titled, Wealth Management on the Move: The moment of Truth by the Aite Group, they are predicting that many FA’s are likely to move in 2012.  “Leading wealth management firms retained many of their top-producing advisors by offering retention packages, but the breakaway trend may once again pick up momentum as the value of these packages wanes.”

According to the Aite Group’s study (which surveyed 151 employee advisors), 6 % of wirehouse advisors plan to move this year, while 38 % plan to move in 2012, and 16 % plan to move in 2013.

Among the non-wirehouse advisors, 32 % are planning a move this year, while 36 % are planning a move next year, and virtually none are planning to move in 2013. 

The wirehouses are still offering lucrative recruiting packages, in fact they are at an all time high.  In 2012, the balance on many financial advisor’s retention packages will be reduced as they have worked off a good portion of the note by staying until now.  Many financial advisors are unhappy at their firms and the pain of staying grows each day.  Being prepared and having a plan B  is a must. 

2012 will be a big year for advisors to move firms. Advisors who stay ahead of the curve and keep their options open will be the  winners. If your doors close on Friday, where will you go on Monday?


Gregory Fleming, brokerage president, announced earlier this month to hundreds of advisors attending the Association of Professional Investment Consultants conference in Salt Lake City that Morgan Stanley plans to proceed with changing the name of its Morgan Stanley Smith Barney retail brokerage early next year. 

 Morgan Stanley is likely to drop the “Smith Barney” name, which ends a 73 year old brand. 

 There were a half dozen names offered; none of the suggested names included “Smith Barney.”

 The possibilities are Morgan Stanley Advisors, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Advisors, Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Advisors, Morgan Stanley Wealth Advisors, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management.

FundFire conducted a poll in March.  There were 400 participants in the poll; “58 % said advisors would be more likely to leave MSSB if the firm decides to drop “Smith Barney” from its name.

Of those, 41% believed there would be a “moderate” amount of departures, while another 17 % said there would be a “significant” number of exits if the firm goes through with the name change.  However, about 42 % of respondents told FundFire that the move would not negatively impact advisor retention at the firm.”

If this name change angers you, there are plenty of options out there.  Financial Advisors are in demand and the recruiting deals are still at an all time high!  You can contact  Mickey Wasserman or Julianne Wasserman  at 818-889-7804. Or visit our web site  Michael Wasserman & Associates, Inc.


Sallie Krawcheck, president of Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch’s global wealth and investment management unit recently participated in the firm’s wealth management panel on women and retirement.

Women are representing more of the professional population.  In fact, 58 % of college graduates are women and 54 % of U.S. professional and managerial jobs are held by women.  Women must be more vigilant in building wealth and retirement savings.  These statistics were shared by the panel. 

“Women should start saving earlier.  They should save more.  They should have joint money.  They should look into separate accounts as well.  They should be doing more of everything.” Krawcheck said, as reported in an On Wall Street article. 

According to David Bach, a former financial advisor and author of “Smart Women Finish Rich,” women have very good “b.s.” detectors and are unlikely to hire someone they do not trust.  Therefore, financial advisors should sell their services in a manner that appeals to women.  The financial advisors should not push products and spend more time talking about the prospective female clients’ values, goals and dreams.   

Financial advisors should be more proactive in “trying to woo” women as clients. 

Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch brokerage is providing special guidance to its financial advisors on how to work with women.  Merrill is encouraging the financial advisors to spend more time pursuing perspective women clients because women take longer to choose a financial advisor.  Krawcheck urged them not to give up because women  tend to be more stable clients and women statistically live longer than male clients.   

Interestingly, Merrill Lynch’s advisor force of 15,000 is approximately 84 % male.

Read full article here


Whatever happened to the stampede to indie from the wirehouses?  According to an article in Registered Rep magazine, “the switch from the wirehouse model to independence will be an ongoing but slow trend. Cerulli Associates expects the wirehouse channel to lose 1 to 2 percent of its market share of assets per year.” 

So, who is going independent?  According to the survey in the Registered Rep article; the average IBD has about 19 years in the business, about $ 47 million in AUM and an average production of about $ 360,000.  The article points out that there are two types of advisors that are leaving the wirehouses and going independent.  “The first kind are advisors who are essentially encouraged to leave,” due to low production quotas.

The second type of advisor going independent is a FA with a well-established professional practice who desires to have more control of his practice.  This FA also has a sizable practice without any problems of generating any revenue.

The data from Cerulli Associates suggest that the migration to the indie side does continue, “but it’s a trickle rather than a flood.”  The wirehouses need to remain vigilant about recruitment because a trickle of water soon becomes a stream and the stream a torrent, and the torrent a flood.


Bank of America has announced that they will hire 500 additional Financial Solutions Advisors (FSA) by year-end.  These FSAs represent Merrill Edge, the platform built to combine the banking strength of Bank of America and the investment strength of Merrill Lynch.  The FSAs will be located in select banking centers, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., Dallas & Charlotte.  The FSAs will serve Bank of America’s preferred customers that have between $ 50,000 and $ 250,000 of investable assets.  According to Bank of America, there are 8 million investors in this category and they have total assets worth more than $ 5 trillion.


According to Investment News, MSSB can’t cut costs by lowering broker pay because McCann and Krawcheck are on the prowl for MSSB talent.

According to the article, Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. said in an interview with Tom Keene on Bloomberg Radio’s Bloomberg Surveillance, that, “Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman can’t cut expenses at the joint venture with Citigroup Inc.’s Smith Barney as fast as he would like because “he’s being checkmated by Sallie Krawcheck and Bob McCann.””

Hintz also stated, “Investors and analysts have been disappointed by the speed of the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney integration.  The unit posted a pretax margin of 9 percent in 2010, less than half of Gorman’s goal of more than 20 percent.  “Bank of America’s wealth and investment management division, which includes Merrill Lynch brokerage and U.S. Trust, had a margin of about 15 percent.

All of the wirehouses are still competing fiercely with one another to attract top talent.

It’s a good time to be a financial advisor, if you’re considering a transition.


SEC to issue new broker pay rules

Posted by adaniels in Blog on November 10, 2010 - (0 Comments)

How do you get the largest bonuses, and easily transition and protect your biggest clients in our new Age of Transparency and Regulation (ATR)?

The large up front bonuses that advisors get when moving from one firm to another are under siege. SEC Chairman, Mary Shapiro is targeting these bonuses and claims they encourage risk taking.

Read these articles….

SEC plans to issue new rules on broker pay : November 8, 2010

Read full article here

Memo: SEC to issue new broker pay rules by April : November 10, 2010

Read full article here

…..and let us know your thoughts.