Re: the retail sales force. How goes the integration of the Oppenheimer and Fahnstock retail divisions? How many brokers in total? How is morale? Is senior mgmt. trying to grow the sales force and if so, to what number? Are there areas where sr. mgmt. is letting the brokers down?
Morale is great! Firm is hiring big hitters who were unhappy at large inflexible wire house firms who were bogged down by layers and layers of inept revolving managers and department heads who can't make quick discisions without their manager or division head approval.
The entreprenurial spirit of the old Oppenheimer has emerged and taken charge and is leading this firm. It is not longer a sleepy place.( though some old timers are still around) Managed account platform is better and friendlier than the big wirehouses. We are winning more and bigger accounts than ever before in part because we've been doing it longer than most..and the Oppenheimer name still has one of the best franchise names. Our depatment heads are smart people without super-egos concerned with watching their backs. Even the research department is finding their niche...though anyone today doing transaction business ...IMHO.. is a relic of a time gone by.How anyone can run a sucessful business charging 5 -10 cents a share beats me. If you're charging $3=500/transaction then you've got some pretty dumb clients.