| NEW YORK, July 11
NEW YORK, July 11 When financial adviser Mike
Gegen made the final decision to leave his job at RBC Capital
Markets to move to Baird Financial Group, he resigned on May 23,
the Friday morning before the three-day Memorial Day weekend,
and within one hour, he was on the phone persuading clients to
move with him.
Gegen, who managed $100 million in client assets at RBC
Capital Markets, the investment banking arm of the Royal Bank of
Canada, found himself in a situation familiar to any
broker who has ever changed firms: he was in a race against his
former colleagues to call his clients and win their future
"In our industry, it is a tug-of-war," Gegen said. "Firms
view clients as their clients, and of course we view them as our
relationships. For me, having the third day was a big help."
Moving firms over a long weekend is an old tactic dating
back to the 1980s and 1990s, when brokerage firms who heard
about departing brokers would rush to the courthouse seeking
temporary restraining orders to prevent those advisers from
communicating with clients.
Advisers who left late on the day before a long holiday
weekend had a jump start back then, because the courts were
But headhunters and industry specialists say fewer advisers
move on holiday weekends now, in part because a 2004 protocol
prevents firms from seeking temporary restraining orders, and
also because brokers and firms don't want to interrupt clients
while they are enjoying those long breaks.
Regular, non-holiday weekends are still a common time to
move firms. The two-day hiatus gives advisers extra time to call
clients, allows them to leave after receiving a final pay check
and often simply feel like a comfortable time to make a break,
advisers have said.
Laser App is a software program used by job-hopping advisers
to transfer clients' accounts. A review of the software's usage
over the last year showed no noticeable spikes in activity
around long weekends, said Robert Powell, vice president at
Laser App Software. Use of the software spiked on New Year's Day
and over several weeks in early fall 2013, Powell said.
To be sure, some advisers like Gegen still elect to move on
long weekends, because they want as much time as possible to
track down and talk with clients.
But many more brokers appear to be moving mid-week or on
normal weekends. The same day Morgan Stanley announced Goodson's
move, it announced it hired four other advisers on Tuesday,
Thursday and Friday during the last week of June.
"Long weekends are no longer the thing that everybody shoots
for," said Danny Sarch, a broker recruiter in White Plains, New
York. "The problem is the clients don't want to hear from
you-they want to enjoy the holiday weekend."
Chris Knust, a former Morgan Stanley adviser who managed
$147 million in client assets before he moved to Ameriprise on
Friday, May 9, said he chose a normal weekend for personal
Knust said he's happy with his choice because he did not
have to risk interrupting clients' holidays and because he
doesn't think the three-day weekend would have bought him much
competitive space anyway.
"I don't know that one additional day would have made a
material difference," Knust said. "The people who are going to
prospect your clients are already prospecting your clients."
(Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Linda Stern and Lisa