Lloyd Blankfein is not really doing “God’s Work,” but the brokerage firms who are willing to take in a few terminated brokers looking for a second chance certainly are. It is nearly impossible to get a job in this industry once you’ve been terminated with cause (as opposed to being laid off). But there are some instances where it can happen.
Working with my friends at Brightscope (where I sit on the advisory board), we took a look at the numbers in their database and produced some exclusive data for my new article that just went live at Registered Rep…
There used to be an unspoken code of sorts. Guys who were fired from brokerage firms were often given the chance to resign rather than have their U5 marked as “terminated” – so long as they didn’t do anything wrong.
Being fired for cause (perhaps violating written supervisory procedures, mistreating co-workers or customers, etc.) requires a full write-up by compliance as far as the details of the termination. But being let go ‘just because’ – that was an area (alas, one of the only areas) where branch managers were able to use their judgment.
If a broker was being let go because he or she just wasn’t working hard, maybe not even showing up or doing any business at all, that’s sad enough; there were probably some personal issues going on outside of the office. The last thing a branch manager wanted to do was make that employee unable to be employed by another firm. So it was usually a conversation like, “Look Bill, you’re a nice guy and everyone likes you, but you’re really just wasting our time here and you’re barely doing anything. Save us and yourself the trouble of making us fire you, type up a resignation and we’ll leave it there.”
This was the code because all registered reps, managers, compliance officers and firm owners know that a terminated broker – even one with no disciplinary record or marks on their license – is completely unhirable in almost all cases.