Did you ever wonder how NOT to resign from your job? One Morgan Stanley broker has perfected the technique. It’s painstaking, but he must of felt it was worth it.
Step 1. Go into the firm database and change the phone numbers on each of the 900 clients you have developed over the course of 20 years.
Step 2. Provide a list of clients as required by the official rule book on a thumb drive. But show how well you understand your employer’s database. Be sure the USB is not compatible with the firm’s database. (That shouldn’t be too hard. Even when these things are supposed to work they often don’t.)
Step 3. Explain that, technically speaking, you are playing by the Broker Recruiting Protocol rule book, which basically says (1) departing advisors can provide their new firms with client contact information AFTER they join, and (2) they must leave all original documents at their former firm. Nobody says the firm must be able to actually read those documents.
Step 4. Hire a very good lawyer because the odds are that most firms would do what Morgan Stanley did: Sue.
If you’ve built a good business and your client relationships are solid, you don’t need to engage in the shenanigans Investment News wrote about. Follow both the letter and the spirit of the rules. If you’ve done you’re job right, the transition will be smooth and clients will respect your integrity.