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.

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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.”


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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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Robert McCann has been named the new chief executive officer of UBS Group Americas, InvestmentNews reports. McCann joined UBS AG in 2009 after leaving Merrill Lynch.

The pick of McCann seems to show that UBS is keeping its promise to move away from investment banking in favor of wealth management. And Karina Byrne, a spokesperson for UBS said that the appointment is “ a sign of the importance of the wealth management franchise to UBS and of the importance of Wealth Management Americas to the business.” She also said that it was “recognition of Mr. McCann’s hard work in turning around the wealth management franchise here.”

Ever since a London UBS trader cost the company $2.3 billion on its investment banking side, the firm has backing away from that part of the business. As for its wealth management division, UBS posted a 2% increase in profits in the third quarter, outdoing competitors like Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In addition, UBS also hired 51 advisers, and showed a an average annual productivity of $895,000, the highest of the wirehouses.

“Our strategy around the world and in the Americas is centered on leveraging our leading Wealth Management franchise together with a strong and focused investment bank and asset management business,”  McCann told UBS employees in a memo. He replaces Philip Lofts in the position.

Written by Lisa Swan


After a slow start, financial advisors are becoming more active with using smart phones and tablet computers for business, as well as mobile applications, RegisteredRep.com reports.

 “Efficiencies in Wealth Management: Mobile at the Gate,” a new study by Aite Group, shows that financial advisors are increasing their spending on such items, spending at least $1200 a year, or over $100 a month, to get connected with mobile business applications. And some advisors are willing to spend even more money; the report says that five percent will spend between $200 and $499 monthly to get more business information from mobile apps, and four percent will spend over $500.

While many financial advisors have used their smart phones for personal use, it’s only recently that business applications have become popular in their industry, thanks to demand from clients. “Financial advisors who struggle with accessing applications on the go are often shown up by their clients on the mobile front,” the Aite Group report reveals. “Many clients are equipped with mobile technologies that allow them to access the many information sources available on the Internet as well as rapidly take action on information, e.g., place buy or sell orders with their online broker through their mobile phone.”

The survey of 402 financial advisors also showed that “U.S. wealth management firms have finally begun to take recent advances in mobile computing seriously” with more financial advisors having “realized that these devices are a must for financial advisors, and are currently working on defining a mobile strategy.”

Written by Lisa Swan


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.”


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.

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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.

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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.

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