Kaye/Bassman's Tim White in Investment News Article, "Merrill Lynch Losing Top Advisors"

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Kaye/Bassman's Tim White in Investment News Article, "Merrill Lynch Losing Top Advisors"

Dallas, Texas, 3/9/2012:

In early summer, before layoffs began sweeping across Wall Street, billboard-sized photos of employees were plastered on the walls, pillars and elevator banks of Credit Suisse Group AG's offices in the United States and abroad.
The museum-quality prints, depicting workers from administrative assistants to senior executives, were emblazoned with motivational words like "Proactive" and "Partner." By mid-July, however, the photos disappeared and the Swiss banking giant began laying off 2,000 employees.
Security guards prevented employees from taking cell-phone pictures as the posters were stripped away, according to one employee who was present.
"It sent an entirely wrong message," said an employee, who was not authorized to speak publicly. "Management literally threw away that kind of money on something so trivial, while planning to cut thousands of jobs."
A bank spokeswoman declined to comment on the internal campaign or the employee's comments.
Credit Suisse's timing illustrates the unanticipated dangers of rampant job-cutting, which tend to run in cycles on Wall Street. Employee morale often plummets at a time when survivors are asked to pick up more responsibility and customer relations can suffer as service and relationships deteriorate.
What's more, layoffs inartfully constructed can come across to shareholders as Band-Aid solutions that at best temporarily cut expenses and at worst pare away reserves of talented people.
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"They finished cutting the fat and now they're into the muscle and bone," said Tim White, a managing partner who specializes in wealth management at the recruiting firm Kaye/Bassman International in Dallas.

Working under a recent mandate not to use certain alternative investments or to sign on new public-pension-fund clients, John Beirne Jr., a 33-year veteran of Merrill Lynch who managed upwards of $2 billion in assets, quit last month to strike out on his own. For a variety of reasons, many top Merrill Lynch financial advisers are coming to the same conclusion. Seven of the 10 largest adviser moves tracked by InvestmentNews over the past three months have involved Bank of America Merrill Lynch advisers — many of them veterans such as Mr. Beirne. “I'm a gold watch guy, but I'm not going to get the gold watch at Merrill Lynch,” he said, echoing what many other top producers at America's iconic wirehouse have been feeling of late. “We would have lost accounts, and the change was interfering with an investment process we'd been using for 35 years,” said Mr. Beirne, explaining why he and three other Merrill Lynch advisers opened up shop as registered investment advisers in Milford, Conn.

The team made the move with the help of Focus Financial Partners LLC, an aggregator with 23 partner firms, collectively managing $50 billion.  For Merrill Lynch, which employs more than 17,000 advisers and managed more than $1.5 trillion at the end of last year, the departure of Mr. Beirne wasn't an earth-shaking event. And to be sure, at a firm of its size, the normal comings and goings will involve many sizable producers.

“We can't verify your info — but frankly, people have been calling "the great exodus' for more than a decade now, and the facts have not borne it out,” said Merrill Lynch spokeswoman Selena Morris. But after a few years of very low turnover in its adviser ranks, Merrill Lynch — and wirehouses in general — could see many more brokers head for the exits this year.

“We're seeing more activity across the board when it comes to the major firms,” said Tim White, a recruiter with Kaye Bassman International Corp.

Read the full story.

About Kaye/Bassman
Founded in 1981, Kaye/Bassman has grown to become the largest single-site executive search and recruitment firm in the United States with the simple mission of impacting companies and enhancing careers by providing the finest in professional, executive, technical and scientific search. Kaye/Bassman provides strategic recruiting and executive search solutions in over 20 industry practice areas including construction recruiting, healthcare recruiting, banking executive search, energy recruitment and many more.  Next Level Recruiting Training, a recruiting training organization, Next Level Exchange, a recruiting training best practices information exchange, and Next Level Marketing Communications are also Kaye/Bassman companies.

For additional information or a sample copy, contact:
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Kaye/Bassman International
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Source: http://www.investmentnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120304/REG/303049976&cslet=UnhOY2lLYjlMUEtZK2pjMXNkbTdUZk5yb3VmcXRtTT0=

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