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Towry Law reports “positive response” from Edward Jones advisers

Towry Law chief executive Andrew Fisher says he has met with more than half of the Edward Jones advisers and has received a “very positive response”.

Fisher’s comments come despite the large numbers of Edward Jones advisers who have flooded the MM website in recent days complaining about the deal. Last week Towry Law announced it had bought the UK subsidiary of Edward Jones, which has 400 financial advisers and 50,000 clients with £1.5bn of client assets.

Fisher says he has met with 270 advisers and the majority have responded positively to the takeover.

The advisers all have an existing contract with Edward Jones that prohibits them from soliciting any clients for 12 months if they leave the firm.

Fisher says if Edward Jones advisers decide not to join Towry Law they will not be permitted to take their clients with them.

He says: “That is what is stipulated in the Edward Jones contract and it is what they entered into when they joined the firm. It is a standard contract. It has nothing to do with Towry Law.”


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There are 22 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. My first thought after reading this article was B*****ks my second thought was DOUBLE B*****ks
    Has he read the articles, on the many blogs reporting this weeks events?does he really think the advisors are going to express their real thoughts with their current boss Tim Kirley in the room and their potential future boss Andrew Price in the room?.

    He needs to pullout from yet another merger which will be the right thing for the Edward Jones clients and Edward Jones need to allow it’s current advisors to take their business where ever they feel is best without any hassle in the future.

    EJ have certainly screwed their chances with all the UK workforce and their clients.

    Does anyone know which large IFA firm pulled out of merging with TL last month?

    I don’t want to jump out the fire into the furnace

    I know 1 out of 425 advisors that are willing to give TL a chance and it’s isn’t me.

    Any improvement on 1?

    Mr Fisher if this doesn’t get into double figures you can forget the stretch for next years IPO.

    More like announcing a loss with all the liabilities you are going to pick up.

  2. The Mystery Shopper for IFAs 28th October 2009 at 5:25 pm

    More spin from you know who!

  3. personally I don’t believe a word Mr Fisher says!!

  4. I am an advisor with EJ and am now feeling quite positive about Towry Law. I am relieved to be honest that we now know where we are going, with the losses we sustained last year as a company… what was the credible alternative?

    With RDR we have to embrace change anyway. Everyone stop being so negative and give it a chance!

  5. Inevitably a merger/takeover of this size will cause anxiety. The old 2:1 syndrome strikes again.

  6. I think the situation has been handled in a shocking manner. All the clients have been sent a letter telling them nothing will change?! Of cours it will otherwis Edward Jones would not have sold! The real issues are the uncertainity now surrounding the role going forward. I personally do not know of a single broker that is happy about the stuation! i have been with Edward Jones for less than a year and am still in the early stages of “building my business”. Towry Law will not want me as I cannot possibly write the same levels of business as advisers that have been with Edward Jones for 6-7 years. Where dos that leave me?! Tim Kirley has sold us all down the river. Why couldn’t he offer us the chance as brokers to reorganise the company together. i would have happily shared an office with other brokers but still under the Edward Jones name. It is going to be a very lean Christmas I’m afraid!

  7. Andrew Fisher might well be favourably considered for the post of FSA Press Officer in the event of Robin Gordon-Walker stepping aside.

  8. Towry Law bought MLP and within ONE YEAR, 60% of the MLP advisers had left. Another 6 months later and the figure was 75%.

    Makes you think.

  9. I believe there is a fundamental issue here, TL and EJ are miles apart in terms of synergy however the true wealth of any company at present in financial services is ‘funds under management’ and that is what TL have went for. Does any EJ adviser think that a firm which has positioned itself at the highest level in terms of full chartered status and fee based advice will look to retain the EJ salesforce and more importantly just how many EJ clients fit the TL profile. It is very interesting to note that the above quote from TL regarding EJ advisers being positive but then mentioning the contractual issues around contacting clients should they leave only points to asset stripping of immense proportions. I have spoken with many EJ advisers and the main concern centres around what will happen to clients with stocks and shares who have esentially products in their portfolio that TL cannot service due to UK FSA guidlines? It is a shame that it appears to me the only individuals who are concerned with TCF in this sorry mess are the EJ advisers who if they are smart will recognise that a long term future with Tl is not a realistic option. Go mainstream IFA guys as that is where your clients will be best serviced by you in the future and remember people do business with people, not firms.

  10. Seems to me that TL is essentially a CEO with big ego & share options backed by venture capitalists (Palamon) – all out to line their pockets.

    Plan appears to be to buy up assets at a reasonable price and spit out unwanted clients and staff along the way. Coupled with high initial and annual charges based on AUM, it’s a nice little formula if Mr Fisher can actually generate a profit (something he had a problem doing in last accounts) and PE ratios for the sector recover. He and the venture capitalists can then offload the company, no doubt pocketing a very tidy sum in the process.

    Meanwhile, the clients end up with what appear to be rather expensive funds of funds and a probable change of ownership down the line when the vc’s decide to exit. I’m struggling to think of a large IFA that’s gone through a change of ownership for the better!

    I’ve no doubt that TL is better than some in this industry, but ultimately it’s more a slick sales machine and asset gathering operation than high end wealth manager.

  11. Liabilities Liabilities… Mr Fisher dont think for one minute that the landlords will accept nothing less than being paid off in full for contracts. If you liquidate be sure to carry it carefully. You would hate the liabilities that you will incur. The rationale for the takeover.. Simple the Assets.. The assets come at a price and now I wonder how much you shaved off as a write off before litigation. Good Luck…..

  12. The merger that TL pulled out of last month was AWD chase de vere. It was actually AWD who pulled the plug 1 hour before the deal was due to de done.

  13. personally I don’t believe a word Mr Fisher says!!

  14. Build it high and flog it off, but what will it be worth?

    Mr Fisher forgets that clients are free to go wherever they wish, attempts to dissuade them should be investigated by the regulator as a breach of TCF principles.

  15. Restrictive covenants and their enforceability are more complicated than suggested in this article by TL representatrive. They may be too widely drafted or the transferor might have committed fundamental breaches (both contractual and implied by statutory provisions) which in turn could make such covenants unenforceable.

  16. Re the previous comment ‘Seems to me that TL is essentially a CEO with big ego & share options backed by venture capitalists (Palamon) – all out to line their pockets.’

    Being ex-TL I have several friends who either work at or have recently left TL. All of them without fail have recently commented at the increasing pressure on the sales teams and all citing the focus on the flotation. And what to do when you need to generate fee’s? charge people for producing excel spreadsheets. I hope the EJ staff are good with excel!!

  17. Martyn Llewellyn-Smith 2nd November 2009 at 5:10 pm

    I was treated shockingly by Edward Jones in July 2008. I am not surprised the rest of you are in the situation you are in now.

    The Jones model was fatally flawed. Allied Crowbar tactics were outlawed many years ago. The deception of pretending to be stockbrokers and selling “mutual funds and high priced commission products whilst, doorstep soliciting, (thought to be outlawed by everyone else) sorry but of course it was only “direct marketing”!

    I, as many other experienced financial advisers, was seduced with promises of professional support and a big name, “ethical and caring employer” that only had the interests of clients and employees at heart. Top employer, The Times 100 best employers!
    The illusion lasted well into the 2 months it takes to get on board and then, you are hooked. It is not easy to get off the Titanic when it has moved into deep water, particularly when you have sunk your own boat to join it.

    How many times did you go to “Home Office” and see the massive support machine working to braking point, answering questions and processing applications efficiently and effectively? Ha Ha.

    What a wonderful IT system, Jones Link, the best in the world, nothing to better it in an IFA’s world. Ha, Ha.

    Unfortunately you “new new” people have learned a hard lesson; the financial services industry does not have any “caring” employers. Nor does it have any employees it cares about. Advisers are cannon fodder, the executives and head office pick up the secure bonuses. How many of you were bullied into selling Glitner bonds? I refused and did I reap the wrath of the compliance and training department. I was a military policeman for 12 years of my life but I never interrogated nor intimidated anyone in the way a branch auditor tried to intimidate me. If he could have got away with striking me with a pointed stick, I am sure he would have. Thank goodness I was innocent of any wrong doing otherwise I would be “sleeping with the fishes” by now. All I ever did was to give my clients the best advise I could. If that meant advising them to take protection before investment when their need demanded or to tell them to go into cash rather than dodgy bonds when they preferred caution, then I stand guilty, but not charged. Lies damn lies and EJ ! False promises and constantly moving goalposts were the prime tools of EJ. Group brainwashing and “native American giving” are a couple of words and phases that also come to mind. Bullys and experts in deception? I no longer have to prove that case to anyone now. I feel sorry for those of you who did not know any different and have to have losses incurred by clients on your consciences for the rest of your lives. If you don’t have it on your conscience, well, you and Jones deserved each other. Join a bank and screw some more poor unsuspecting old persons. If you think you can make a difference, earning a good living without fleecing your clients, come and join me, we will never be millionaires but you will sleep well at night knowing that you have done the best things possible for your clients and you will have good compliance that guides and teaches whilst it regulates. Could it be possible to build a TEAM that can deliver the vision that the Jones marketing promised but the all invincible American machine totally disregarded.

    I always thought “The Stepford Wives” was fiction…………………………

    Good luck to the Good, but the Bad and the Ugly can go to where the sun don’t shine.

  18. I have been extremely happy with my EJ advisor althought only dealing with him for just on a year and the services provided however if TL are a company that only offer fee based advice and services then I will move my business elsewhere. I think TL need to take a long hard lock at the business of EJ before making any changes unless they are just intending to asset strip and sell on.

  19. I am very concerned about this takeover and how it will affect me. I think it is about timeclients were given some information – the take
    over was in October and we have only had a short letter from Towry Law. I want to know the cost of the fee based charges which I am sure will be higher than commission based.

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  21. My advisor for EJ left on the takeover. I didn’t want TL, I wanted the advisor I had an excellent relationship with. The services of TL are nothing like those of EJ, for instance their advisors are not able to advise on shares. The fee structures have changed and I am unwilling to accept them and now I am effectively without an advisor because I have not transferred over to their managed offering. I have stopped getting information from TL and don’t know what has happened to recent dividends.I am amazed that my confidential information can transfer across companies without any authority from me. I can’t blow my nose without disclosure of the event invoking Data Protection, yet all my financial data changed companies without my say so!

  22. I used to work for EJ (one of the best companies I worked for) and was sad to hear of their departure from the UK. However, sadness soon turned to anger when we received a letter advising us that our portfolio was too small for them to manage and they were selling all our shares. It may have been small to them, but it represented quite a large savings fund for our future. Thanks for nothing TL. AND they never got our names right on any correspondence we received from them. Very poor show. Shame on EJ for letting all their UK customers and staff down.

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