What about the Sales Assistants? They get the crappiest pay. Brokers make it to different levels (First or Senior V.P) with the help of dedicated assistants. The brokers get all sorts of perks which include trips to Vegas, Disney...the company gives them gifts of COACH goods and other expensive items such as TIFFANY. If the broker chooses not to go to these fabulous trips...tuff
Prudential, especially with the j.v. with Wachovia has some execellent possibilities. We can only hope that management will show true leadership in development of product, as well as treatment of clients and financial advisors.
Following the dots of other firms is not necessarily the right way to go. Many advisors (and not only those on the big committee), have great ideas. Let us hope that management will listen to those in the trenches as they are in touch with the clients
and know what the clients want. Listening to clients, not focus groups, can be beneficial.
The 'clause' issue, has at least shown advisors that they have a voice, and that others outside the system are willing to lend support. Now we will see if they fix the problem.
SSB's program was the acquired E.F.Hutton program. I think this was the first program intiated for retail clients. It was begun after the 1987 correction, when there was a study conducted to see who had faired better, institutional or retail clients. The program has been adopted at several different firms. However all programs are not alike, nor all managers. For example, managers may appear at more than one firm, but usually the styles are different. The original concept was great because it afforded retail clients with an access to professional money managers (not through a mutual fund) with a relatively small amount of capital, i.e., $100,000 vs. $5,000,000. Recently, minimums were dropped. One reason being advisors were not diversifying their clients when they put all of their assets with one money manager because that was all they had.
No one firm has a monopoly on platforms. I feel SSB consulting program is superior to ours but who would want to be there right now with all the bad press. Other than MR and his Chell deal Pru has done a pretty good job of keeping out of the tabloids. I think Merrill's quarterly MACS reports are better than our but that may change with Pru's new monitor report due out in April. Several firms have been more supportive of Axys than Pru, but that also is under review. My friends tell me that our PSPM program has lost ground to the SSB and the UBS programs. But I hear Bubba Bennett is working hard to catch-up.
The proprietary fee-based programs I was referring to was Fundamental Choice and Pru Advisor I & II. All the other fee-based programs have suffered from neglect because these programs have drained valuable resources and programming dollars.
The churning I was referring to in Pru Advisor was "reverse Churning". Reverse churning is charging a client 3% a year fee without making any changes to a portfolio or laddering a 5-year Treasury bond portfolio. Let see, client earns 2.7% and we charge him 3% or better yet, equity accounts are down 70% with no trades? Attorneys are lining up to go after firms on this problem.
The current FA's on the council have been great. I was referring to this year's nominees only. It's probably only a coincidence but I know all the brokers from your region currently on the committee but I don't know any of this years candidates. Has the firm stacked the concil with "green dots". Bye the way, that term will die very slowly at this firm. We were assured that our employee opinion surveys were confidential only to find out managemnt received a print out of FA's broken down by whether the were supportive or critical of management. Next to a brokers name was either a green or red dot. I'm sure they have me as red. I find this greatly offensive and reminds me of Mccarthism in the 50's. Enough said.
WB's lending and Trust capabilities offer the most upside to the merger. I've heard WB allows qualified FA's to keep managing assets held by the trust company. That would make me feel much more comfortable using their trust company.
Well I'm off to enjoy the weekend,
Live long and prosper.
I think if you are doing any size of business today, you have to be managed and properly allocated. I wish more people would see this. Oh well.
I have checked out the other Firms. To tell you the truth, I haven�t seen better than ours. The only thing that I saw at UBS was that they are using Advent Axys. However, the data only goes back a few years. Our Compass program gives me just about everything I need. Maybe its one of those things that you don�t know what you need because you don�t know what you are missing. Let me know if you seen something that I haven�t. I also haven�t seen anything of a propriety push. I do use some of the Target funds but not many. I haven�t had anyone ask me to push prop funds or anything like that. Even this Dryden thing has almost been a non-event (I had to ask for info instead of having it pushed to me.)
I think a lot of ROs could learn from Drake. Make no mistake about it, I know that he is committed to the firm. However, I never found that his interest really differed from mine and my teams. I hate this whole red dot and green dot stuff. Look. I don�t know everyone�s agenda but I can spot bullsh*t. I just don�t see the BS like I use to see it all of the time. He seems to be pretty focused around the client. When I need special pricing for a large client, he had it done in two seconds.
As far as the council is concerned. First let me say that I am not on it. I would probably like to take a stab at it but family and the business needs to come first right now. The guys from my region include Hevner, Geller, Diamond, Solis-Cohen and McPeak. Lets face it, these are guys who have been around a while and don�t suffer fools well. They have been supportive of FA issues and have used their tenure on the council to improve our firm. I have no complaints there.
As I mentioned, I�ve been with Pru for over 20 years. I remember the LPs. Didn�t get too caught up in it (thankfully). But I�ve got to tell you it just doesn�t come up unless its someone for the inside complaining about stock options or retention. As far as PruAdvisor, I haven�t heard anything about churning. I did hear Bubba say something about getting rid of some of the extra fees in PruAdvisor I. I hate the $25 a trade. Would love to have pricing flexibility without the trade costs. I hear its coming with the merger.
I too am anxious to get this deal closed. I have lost more business due to our poor excuse for a bank. I figure I�ll see a 5% increase in my business from lending alone. Probably more. We�ll see.
It sounds like you have a great business model. I can't help but noticing the similarities between our groups. Our group's revenue and assets are also at record levels, we survived this market by diversifying our clients into different asset classes and our group also does well over 50% of our business from fee-based production. The differences seem to be in our relationship with management. I think you give Pru to much credit for your business. The platforms and programs are adequate not exceptional at Pru. Every product you have mentioned MACS, Pru Advisor ect. our competitors have an equal or better product. I don't expect us to have the best of everything and overall think Pru has done a reasonable job in product development. I just wish they would stop trying to push proprietary products at the expense of other fee-based options. Last I checked we have both paid the firm a million dollars or more for their efforts. I think that�s enough, I'm not going to give them any more credit for our group�s success. They already take to much credit as it is.
My manager is great. He also could afford to lose a few pounds. My regional was ok and the divisional was unless. The higher you go up in Pru management the less impress I am. WB seems to have rewarded excellence in their senior management. Pru on the other hand rewarded only the "green Dots" and has slowly removed anyone who could be thought of as Pro Broker. Pro broker managers and RO's were viewed as anti firm and eliminated. I will exclude your RO from my generalization Drake was the better of the two choices. The Florida guy was a nice person but not up to Drakes level.
The current FA advisory council has done an admirable job in defending our interests but has become increasing frustrated with management over their actions. Have you talked to any of them recently, they are very upset with senior management and many don't share your feeling regarding MR and JS integrity. I don't know any of the new candidates for this year�s advisory council but maybe that�s because most of my friends fall into the cynical camp. I fear management didn't appreciate an aggressive FA advisory board and hand selected FA's who might more easily rubber stamp their nefarious projects. The current FA board should be congratulated for standing up to management, unfortunately the new board doesn't seem to have the players to get the job done in the future. I hope I'm wrong here. The field needs a strong voice in N.Y. especially during this merger.
I don't know how long you have been at Pru, but your less than cynical view of management may come back to hurt you some day. Just talk to one the old Pru LP guys and you will quickly see how fast Management will distance themselves from you if one of their products doesn't work out. I've noticed recently, some negative comments coming from management regarding Pru Advisor I with "reverse churning" accusations and Pru Advisor II with some outrageous FA trading in Pru Advisor II. If my fears come to fruition, watch management do a tap dance on this one and leave brokers good and bad holding the bag. Stay tuned boys and girls!
I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on Pru management. I'll remain somewhat suspicious of their motives and you can remain more trusting. In the end we are both looking for the same thing, a better firm. I'm hoping WB will be a better place to work. I'm not so cynical in every other part of my life but, I've just had Pru management disappoint me so many times I've learned to suspect them of lying every time they move their lips.
Sounds like we�re on the same page on the ERS.
However, have you (and I too am being sincere) found a firm that hasn�t changed the money market?
Also, and I don�t want this to become an argument, since when are we different from our industry? You are right, I could point to mismanagement. But I would point to the mismanagement of our industry. I think you mentioned that you too were a council member. At the top of the bull market, I don�t remember anyone not going on lavish trips and asking that the monies instead be given back to clients. Or someone saying, �nah, I don�t need an additional 5% on the grid.�
Maybe some of the PRU-PSI brokers who voiced their concerns over here don't have as strong a branch mgr/regional mgr as you do/did. Not all coaches or assistant coaches are created or groomed equally.
On the college basketball thing, who are you pulling for? I am pulling for my undergrad alma mater, Troy State, (first time ever for them) and also UCONN and Syracuse (yes, I know they are competitors in the same league). I like Big East basketball.
I can't access the reply you sent me right now, YHOO is being "difficult."