Excluding the players in the World Series, there are many contenders for a baseball list that no one wants to be a part of…..

The toughest question for the general manager of any baseball team is whether to pull the trigger and offer a player coming off a big year a huge contract. No matter what fans think there’s no way to tell for sure if a player will continue at the top of his game after re-signing. The World Series features two teams, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, who eschewed off-season splurges and relied on smaller contracts and young, untested, players — particularly the Royals.

Read full article here.


Advisory firms and recruiters weigh in on their 10 best interview questions and answers when hiring advisors.

What can you tell me about yourself?

Mickey Wasserman, founder and president of Michael Wasserman & Associates, Agoura Hills, Calif.

“Perhaps the oldest job interview question, but it’s still the most powerful. While prior measured accomplishments are the best predictor for future success, this open-ended question separates the great FA from the merely good FA. A good response gives me a glimpse of the candidate’s poise and communication skills. I want to learn about their work ethic, vision, passion, family, humility, community involvement, goals, stability, etc. The best response includes language about serving clients. The worst response is non-communication, uncomfortable silence, folded-arms, and defensiveness.”


See full slide show here.


Mickey of Michael Wasserman & Associates
is honored to be a featured recruiter in the 2014 annual
onwallstreet Magazine’s Recruiters Roundtable.
Is it Time to Cut Your Best Deal?










Michael Wasserman & Associates is Ready to Help
“Accept nothing but the best… and you’ll get it!”

Our experienced recruitment team has identified existing and hidden opportunities for thousands of advisors.
We’ll introduce you, guide you, coach you & provide strategies to obtain “out-of-the-box” deals, and then help ease your transition.

All at No Cost, No Obligation and In Complete Confidence
There are Exciting NEW Opportunities to Explore

CALL: Mickey Wasserman 818-889-7804

source: onwallstreetmagazine

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Outsized Recruitment Deals Are Liable to Fade Away
by: Mickey Wasserman Wednesday, February 26, 2014

published in onwallstreet

The question isn’t whether or not FINRA and the SEC will require financial advisors to disclose the details of their compensation packages when they switch firms. The big question isn’t, “What will my clients think if they know how much money I’m earning to move my book of business?” Similarly, spending your time wondering what the maximum compensation you can receive as a recruitment bonus -without having to disclose it- is frankly, a waste of time.

Those questions are soon going to be an exercise in futility, as all indications are that the days of enhanced compensation, big bonuses and upfront cash to attract top producers may be going the way of the dinosaurs.
As such, the only question on any FA’s mind should be “When is this coming, and should I make a change now before the big deals dry up?” Because it’s not a question of whether or not the big recruitment deals are going to lose steam, it’s just a matter of how quickly they will begin drying up.
The reasons are varied and go beyond any new disclosure rules, and the wirehouses are publicly speaking up about their difficulties fulfilling the massive compensation packages they guaranteed. Make no mistake, for the past couple of years even the powerhouse firms have faced an uphill battle to keep their extravagant promises. That means that the 300%+ deals (and closer to 400% if deferred comp is matched) days’ are probably numbered. The 150% upfront cash proposals are not likely to survive the change. The days of buying FA’s out of their current contracts are simply no longer feasible.

The major factor that has driven deals up to their current exalted levels is the intense competition for a shrinking talented advisor population. Supply and demand has always ruled. But here’s the spoiler alert: these days it doesn’t look like we are very far off from the major wirehouse firms making a pact of sorts, to cap the recruitment deals. Recruiting has proven to be incredibly expensive for all of the players involved.
The major firms do in fact speak to each other, as evidenced by the Broker Protocol Agreement (2004) designed to stop the legal battles and temporary restraining orders that ensued when brokers jumped to a new firm. Prior to this agreement, the legal bills from all sides were, if you recall, ridiculous.

Although mergers, acquisitions, and the fickle nature of the industry had, at one point led many of the big players to offer attractive retention packages, these days it looks as if those may be going by the wayside as well. Brokerages seem to not only be tired of chasing one another’s top producers, they are tired of having to pay hefty retention fees, and recent statistics show that they aren’t necessary any longer. Turnover is down at all of the wirehouse firms.

At first glance this apathy towards retention and recruitment might look like it would lead to more turnover. Yet, there isn’t likely to be as much incentive to switch firms, if the monetary incentives just don’t exist anymore.
Please understand that recruitment deals will never entirely go away, but it’s today’s top deals that will be challenged. Whether the big deals start to dry up in 2014, or 2015, is anyone’s guess. But rest assured, they are poised to decrease over the coming months and years.
So if you’re an FA looking for a big recruitment bonus, it’s best that you make a move sooner than later. Because things are about to change, and the clock has already started ticking…with big recruitment deals living on borrowed time.

Michael Wasserman & Associates is Ready to Help
“Accept nothing but the best… and you’ll get it!”

Our experienced recruitment team has identified existing and hidden opportunities for thousands of advisors.
We’ll introduce you, guide you, coach you & provide strategies to obtain “out-of-the-box” deals, and then help ease your transition.

All at No Cost, No Obligation and In Complete Confidence. There are Exciting NEW Opportunities to Explore

CALL: Mickey Wasserman 818-889-7804

It’s Your Future ~ Let’s Make It Happen

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The wirehouses are always on the hunt for top talent.  Experienced Financial Advisors are in demand and have been for some time.  In 2005, the wirehouses employed 57,262 advisors and at the end of March 2011, the wirehouses employed 50,743 advisors.  This represents a 12 % headcount decline over a five- year period.

The number of advisors at the “Big 4” UBS, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch are stagnant at best. They used to poach from each other, but now that retention deals have been put in place and the pools are shrinking, the wirehouses are aggressively recruiting from alternate and multiple sources. Independent brokers, RIAs, brokers from boutique size financial firms, have all been targeted. 

There are vast culture differences that still need to be overcome if the wirehouses plan to continue to recruit the Independent B-Ds. The wirehouses bring less freedom, layers of additional management, less access, and a lower payout. All this needs to be compensated for in the form of a nice “up front” check, and their superior support systems, and protection from regulation.  Is that enough? It is rare to see an independent advisor move to the wirehouse world, according to many recruiters. 

What can the wirehouse do? 

The “Big 4” need positive press, and a lot of it, if they plan on luring brokers from the independent channels.


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.


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 www.hotbrokerjobs.com  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.