Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Matching Growing Customer Diversity


Recruiting Efforts at Edward Jones Aim to Match Growing Customer Diversity

Janaury 2008

Financial services firm Edward Jones has partnered with 100 Black Men of America, Inc. in a collaborative effort designed to raise awareness of the firm's career opportunities within the African-American community, and to provide financial education programming in communities where both organizations have a presence. The goal is to offer more choices to investors who are diversifying faster than the pool of financial advisors.

Price Woodward, principal of Financial Advisor Recruiting and Hiring at Edward Jones stated that a growing number of our investors are Asian, black or Hispanic and many are females. The investment advisor profession has been very white and very male dominated. We want to diversify because we think it's the right thing to do.

The firm is using outside recruiters to meet its hefty diversity applicant requirements. It has recently moved a tenured female financial advisor into a dedicated recruiting position in an effort to boost the strategic recruitment of female financial advisors. Edward Jones has partnered with 100 Black Men of America, Inc. in a collaborative effort designed to raise awareness of the firm's career opportunities within the African-American community, and to provide financial education programming in communities where both organizations have a presence. The goal is to offer more choices to investors who are diversifying faster than the pool of financial advisors.

Woodward says that Edward Jones employs more than 11,200 financial advisors. In 2007, the firm had a goal of hiring more than 300 new advisors each month which included 250 new advisors in the U.S. and 25 in Canada and the United Kingdom. For 2008, the firm has a goal of hiring 275 U.S. financial advisors each month along with another 30 in both Canada and the United Kingdom on a monthly basis. Because the firm only hires 8% to 9% of the people who apply, the firm processed 42,000 applicants last year which translates to 175 to 180 applicants on a daily basis.

Attrition of Broker even at Edward Jones


January 2004

Edward Jones is known for many employees who have put in many years at the firm.

But even if has to face attrition issues.

As many as 1,300 brokers were out of the door during the first eight months of 2003.Edward Jones, which has 8,133 individual brokerage offices in the United States.

Some reasons;

"There was also a lot of pressure to take time away from my clients to help train new brokers," Mr. Anderson (former Jones broker now working for Raymond James in Vero Beach) said. "The veteran brokers had a saying: `Ask not what Jones can do for you, but what you can do for Jones."'The firm has a long-standing policy of recruiting and training a staggering number of new brokers, targeting 200 trainees each month.

To some, Edward Jones isn't keeping up with its competitors in a variety of areas.

Edward Jones is particularly susceptible to losing its brokers to independent broker-dealers, some observers said. The company's vaunted "one broker, one office" model is basically that of an independent broker-dealer, only with half the payout and a much smaller shelf of investment products.

Issues related to Monitoring of Terminals at Edward Jones



From its main terminal in St. Louis, Edward Jones has the ability to monitor everything entered into a broker's terminal, including electronic calendar appointments, client and prospect notes, and intranet "wire" communications. While most reps believe this is par for the course of doing business as a one-rep per office operation, some believe the firm has used the information to bully them and even force their resignation.

Jones brokers, however, say the peculiarities of running one-rep offices justify the firm's apparent intrusion and close monitoring.

"It smacks of 'Big Brother' when you hear about it," admits one Jones broker in the Midwest. "But you've got to realize, it's not your personal equipment. Maybe we're spoiled because we're so autonomous in our one-man office. We think it's our computer-but it's not. Jones allows me to run my business as long as it's ethical and profitable."

Other brokers believe close monitoring keeps bad apples out and has little effect on brokers who are honest. "I'm glad they spy on us," says one Jones broker in Southern California. "If I'm using company equipment, they have a right to look at anything I put on there. ... Anyone who says differently is a jerk."

As for the firm, it says it doesn't have the resources to monitor every piece of information on the computer terminals of its more than 3,500 reps. It does, however, closely watch all new accounts, all trading activity and all customer correspondence via various methods for regulatory purposes and "to ensure the protection of our customers."

Edward Jones says it permits brokers to have separate PCs or laptops in their offices but discourages them from doing so.

HRM Issues at Edward Jones


Edward Jones is the retail brokerage firm with the heart of gold. For the eighth year, the financial-services firm Edward Jones was named one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America by Fortune magazine in its annual listing of 2006(ranking 29th overall).

Like its customers, its employees tend to stay with them for years. Keeping hold of their staff is clearly an important factor – but how do they manage it so successfully?

In locating employees from the communities they eventually serve, the majority of financial advisors employed by Edward Jones come from different industries, very few of them transferred from other brokerage firms.

The typical employee, “those individuals who are looking to come in for two years to get experience and increase their market value” as Scott deems them, don’t fit at Edward Jones.

Long-term commitment and investment is the core of what we’re looking for. Individuals who respect our history, have a clear understanding of who our clients are, and are looking for long-term commitment are those who are welcomed at Jones.”

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Walt Goshert -Independent sales writer and marketing strategy consultant

Walt Goshert is an independent sales writer and marketing strategy consultant with more than 25 years experience in financial services-- including insurance, investments, and lending.

Walt writes direct mail, ads, brochures, articles, white papers, websites, landing pages, e-mail, newsletters, press releases, and other marketing materials that financial services firms need to sell their products and services, generate leads, and attract clients.

Walt provides you a full package: a strategic marketing mind, a financial industry veteran, and persuasive 24/7 “salesman”.

Walt Goshert

Financial Services SalesWriter and Marketing Strategist

15 Cherry Alley

Stevens,PA 17578



You can Subscribe to the FREE "Secret" Business-Builders' Blog:

"7 Habits of Peak Performing Financial Services Professionals"
by visiting Walt's page


MCorp. - Strategic brand, marketing and IR consultancy

About MCorp.

MCorp. is a strategic brand, marketing and IR consultancy based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company is built on more than two decades of expertise positioning, branding and promoting business-to-business, financial services and technology companies, products and services.

Core Expertise
Through the disciplines of research, strategic planning, branding, integrated marketing communications, performance measurement, and investor and media relations, we develop strategic and tactical solutions that inform and motivate our clients' target audiences, while generating measurable results.

Our Clients
Over the years, we've driven business, brand and marketing strategy as well as communications, consulting and IR engagements for companies ranging from venture-backed start-ups to some of the largest financial services and technology companies in the world.

Why Choose MCorp.?
At MCorp., we know that to move and inspire people, you need a strategy: a clear understanding of where you are, where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there. At the same time, every communications and brand-related investment must be made with a realistic understanding of anticipated return.

Our whole business boils down to finding new ways to solve problems. But no matter the task, creativity - combining creative thinking and innovation with business strategy - drives every engagement we undertake. The result? Success. As measured by you.

To learn more about our capabilities, please contact us at

MCorp. White Papers and Research Reports

MCorp. and the Journal of Financial Services Marketing: Analysis papers - A survey of key success factors in financial services marketing and brand management (PDF White Paper: 1 mb)

MCorp. and the American Banking Association - ROI Analysis: A Tool for Management in the Financial Service Sector. A survey on the challenges, opportunities and desire of implementing ROI analysis into financial services marketing metrics. (PDF Research Report: 210 kb)

Track Touchpoint Efficacy through the Customer Relationship Lifecycle (PDF White Paper: 185 kb)

Financial Services Marketing and Brand Management: An in-depth survey of senior executives, reporting on the challenges and opportunities to improved marketing and brand performance, relevance, value and accountability (PDF Research Report: 378 kb)

MCorp. Presentations

Marketing Financial Services to Baby Boomers Branding: Positioning and Differentiating Your Firm, Your Products and Services (PDF of PPT presentation deck: 494 kb)

American Banking Association Marketing Conference: Return on Marketing Investment: Understanding Why, When and How to Measure the Value of Brand, Customer and Marketing Initiatives (PDF of PPT presentation deck: 422 kb)

Measuring and Tracking the Value and Efficacy of Customer Touchpoints, Marketing, and Corporate Brand: The Touchpoint Performance DashboardSM. A Presentation to the California Society of Certified Public Accountants" (downloadable slideshow: 335 kb)

MCorp. Capabilities Presentation (downloadable slideshow: 749 kb)

For papers and presentations visit the page and make the request to MCorp


Getting a Return on Financial-Services Marketing

A Booz Hamilton article


Blog of Globalization of Services


EB Group - Consultant - E-commerce - Financial Companies


Help for midsized financial companies in integrating E-commerce in their business.


Experience and Results

EBGroup is a management consulting and technology services firm specializing in the financial services industry. We work with small to midsized companies in the banking, mortgage, investment, and insurance industries.

We use our extensive financial services knowledge, our experience implementing and managing technology for leading companies, and our insight into and access to existing and emerging technologies to formulate and implement solutions for clients cost effectively. We help our clients identify new opportunities, increase revenues in existing markets, and deliver their products and services more effectively and efficiently.

Who We Are

David Espenschied has over 30 years combined in the financial services business, working at such companies as Cal Fed, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Countrywide, and Sanwa Bank. He first worked at Countrywide, a Fortune 500 financial services company, where he was the CEO of the e-Business Division. Later he worked at Sanwa Bank California, where he began building a new e-business infrastructure for the newly created United California Bank.

What We Do

Industry consolidation, swings in lending cycles, increased cost pressures, regulatory changes, and the new interconnectedness of production channels confront financial services companies today. We help clients meet these challenges through our services, including outsourcing strategies to increase cost efficiency and reallocate scarce IT resources, and customer-relationship-management initiatives that enable them to acquire new customers, retain profitable customers and improve their cross-selling capabilities.

We work with small to midsized retail and commercial banks, mortgage lenders, investment firms and insurance companies to develop and execute strategies to target, acquire and retain customers more effectively, expand product and service offerings, comply with new regulatory initiatives, and leverage new technologies and distribution channels.

Our customer relationship management services help companies increase the value of their customer relationships, acquire new customers, and retain existing ones. We use proprietary, proven approaches to improving marketing ROI, innovative methods for uncovering insight into customers’ financial product preferences.

We're the only e-business services group that understands the financial services business and delivers results you can measure.

Mailing Address

David Espenschied
Espenschied Business Group, Inc.
7669 E. Milton Dr
Scottsdale AZ 85262

Phone: 805.276.0470
Fax: 805.435.1481

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Key Task for Marketing Management in Sales

Marketing specialists study the needs of customers and come out with design of the value proposition (product offering) of the company.

Their key task in selling function is creating enough conviction within the salesmen of their company for the value proposition created by them.

To do that they have to explain to the salesmen or the sales team their marketing research exercise, insights gained through the research, the product designed in response, the 4 P's designed and developed, the results of the trail sales efforts and further modifications done. The target customer description and the target market size needs to be explained. The salesmen must be convinced about the target customer and the size of the target market and the success expected from the market.

This sets the stage right for salemen to go and do their job of locating the potential customers, gaining access to them and interacting with them with them with the communication structure designed by the marketing department.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Can you say what your strategy is?

in 35 words as CEO of the company? Can your associates say it?

It is the question raised by David Collis and Michael Rukstad in their Harvard Business Review in April 2008.

The relevance of the article to managers in Security market intermediaries is that it discusses strategy of Edward Jones.

Strategy of Edward Jones in 35 words

Jones aims to grow to 17,000 financial advisers by 2012 by offering trusted and convenient face-to-face financial advice to conservative individual investors who delegate their financial decisions through a national network of one financial adviser offices.

Read the full article from Harvard Business Review, April 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Remarks by E. Gerald Corrigan
Managing Director
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
March 18, 2008
New York,

Download the full document from

Some interesting points made in the remarks

By my count, the last four decades have witnessed four such events (systemic shocks) as follows:

The LDC debt crisis of the 1980’s

The 1987 stock market crash

The 1997-98 Asia, Russia, Long Term Capital episode

The current credit market crisis

There can be no doubt that ample financial market liquidity and relatively low
interest rates were an important driving force behind the pervasive “reach for
yield” phenomenon of recent years and that the reach for yield phenomenon, in
turn was an important factor in driving the surge in demand for and supply of
highly complex structured credit products.

To a considerable extent, the “hot spots” where contagion forces have emerged share at least two common denominators; first; the risk aversion contraction in market liquidity; and, second ; various forms of leverage made it very difficult and costly to unwind positions.

we tend to forget that centuries of experience tell us in unmistakable terms that
bubbles almost never deflate gradually – they burst.

we must recognize that (1) given the credit-driven nature of the
crisis; (2) the dollar; (3) emerging inflationary risks; and (4) near-term risks to
economic growth, there are limits as to the extent to which Fed actions, by
themselves, can out-muscle the complex forces that are driving the credit crisis.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Soft Skills Books

From a search on Amazon.com

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They'd Learned Sooner by Peggy Klaus (Paperback - Jan 22, 2008)
Buy new: $14.95/$10.17

Living Well, Working Smart: Soft Skills for Success by Sue Mackey and Laura Tonkin (Paperback - Aug 31, 2005)
Buy new: $17.95/$12.21

Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers: The People Skills You Need to Achieve Outstanding Results by Anthony C. Mersino (Paperback - Aug 1, 2007)
Buy new: $19.95/$13.57

Soft Skills for Success by G R K Murty (Paperback - Feb 8, 2005)
Buy new: $18.50

The IT Professional's Business and Communications Guide: A Real-World Approach to CompTIA A+ Soft Skills by Steven Johnson (Paperback - April 30, 2007)
Buy new: $24.99/ $5.00 .

Soft Skills. by Britta Herrmann (Paperback - Sep 1, 2001)
2 Used & new from $107.32

Tools for Success: Soft Skills for the Construction Industry by Steven A. Rigolosi and Michael L. Stilley (Paperback - Feb 2000)
Buy new: $33.33

Soft Skills by Rainer Niermeyer (Perfect Paperback - May 31, 2006)
2 Used & new from $45.58

Sweet Sales: The Soft Skills that Lead to Sweet Sales by David Sweet (Paperback - April 1, 2007)
Buy new: $19.95

Kevin Roberts - CEO - Saatchi and Saatchi

Information and knowledge are table stakes. Insight and foresight win." In other words, don't ignore the spreadsheets and marketing studies but figure out ways to go beyond them.


Ethics - Google Books

1. Competitiveness und Ethik By Ralph Berndt

article: Ethics ratings of investment banks pp.77-88

2. Business ethics By William H. Shaw

3. Business Ethics: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management By Alan R. Malachowski

4. Ethics for International Business: Decision Making in a Global Political Economy By John M. Kline