Going Old School
Not legal advice.
For those Morgan Stanley advisors who weren’t around or were just getting started, when Protocol was established 13 years ago, it’s time to go old school.
Do not take this as legal advice, get your own legal advice (we can refer if needed). Things will likely change to some degree than what they were before, however if the future repeat’s the past transitions will play out along these lines:
Going old school
- Primary issues are to not take confidential information and do not solicit your former clients, let them solicit you.
- Protocol allowed you to take 5 pieces of contact info, that goes away for non-Protocol. Even phone number list can get you in trouble. In the old days (so not that old) advisors knew they wouldn’t be able to take that information so advisors made sure they “knew that information” – let’s go with that, way in advance of moving.
- Resign late Friday going straight to your new office and get your licenses transferred which can take a half hour to hour to transfer.
- When your official, start calling all your clients starting with the highest priority. Morgan Stanley can’t force clients to stay there without you.
- Advisor is not prohibited from speaking or meeting with their (former) clients.
- You can answer the questions the client has for you.
- Advisor may call clients to notify them of their new firm and location.
- Keep in mind, one of your former office buddies is now calling those clients as well.
- It’s the real-life version of the Jerry McGuire scene when the sports agents are racing on calls to lock down as many clients each could before the other. It’s not that bad, if you’re the gatekeeper of your clients the conversations are fairly easy.
- You have got to make that weekend count. Not barbeques, all work.
- If a client calls the advisor the advisor may speak with the client.
- If a client asks what firm you went to, you can share.
- If the client tells you they want to continue to have you as their advisor, that’s completely fine as long as you didn’t ask them. Be expecting a TRO as early as late Friday, which is a Temporary Restraining Order with the function of a “Transition Retribution Oppression” letter.
- If you’re a big producer Morgan Stanley may try and get in front of a judge over the weekend.
- By Monday, Morgan Stanley will be legally at full speed and ready to litigate.
- What wasn’t around in 2004 was social media which makes this time around so much easier for advisors to be in contact with their clients.
- You may connect and interact with your clients by LinkedIn and friend Facebook.
- Make announcements about your move.
- If a client sees a social media posting about your move and sends a message, you can reply.
- If you are joining a solid size firm they will have legal support and if not you may be paying out of pocket or that may be included in the recruiting bonus allocation. If they can’t prove you did anything wrong, judges used to lean the advisor’s way.
- If not, and there is a settlement, it paid and you move on with your life and career elsewhere.
Advisors going to non-Protocol firms will insist that an addendum to the employment agreement be added protecting the advisor’s current clients they will be bringing to be excluded from any non-compete and non-solicitation provisions. Then, if there is a future move, the clients you brought with you initially will be protected.
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