Bankers’ Hours

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(1).  A 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. workday, usually used by those who work much longer hours (see lawyers’ hours) in an attempt to look better to their bosses or co-workers than those who don’t.


“Whoa, heading home already, Steve?  Guess we’re working bankers’ hours now.  I was just about to throw another pot of coffee on.  Hey boss, you want a cup?  I asked Steve but he’s leaving for the night.”


Barrier Of Entry

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(1).  Oh, let’s see … the fact that your fees are too high, your hot assistant called in sick today, the prospect doesn’t seem to like your tie, and you suspect that he may be sleeping with that b* from Merrill Lynch he keeps talking about.


“I don’t know about this one, Harry.  There are just too many barriers of entry here.  I mean, the guy actually told me he didn’t like talking to you!”


Baseline Suitability Obligation

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(1).  The absolute minimum you need to do to not get in trouble with the Feds.


“This sounds like it’s going to cost a lot of money to get this done.  What’s our baseline suitability obligation here?  Do we really need to have a system that works THAT good?”



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(1).  An acronym for “Business Continuity Plan”, or, a company’s plan to keep working after a hurricane or terrorist attack that looks really good on paper but will never work in a million years BECAUSE EVERYONE WILL BE RUNNING AWAY.


“Hey, team…just wanted to remind everyone of the BCP test we are running this week.  Basically, we just want all of you to work from home…yep…that’s the plan…”



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(1).  Unnecessarily customized.  Like iPhone cases.


“I just can’t believe we can’t figure out how to provide annual fee summaries in some kind of automated fashion, Don.  Having your team create some kind of bespoke document for every account is lunacy.  Can you see if the Tech guys have some kind of solution here?  I’m going to let Jim know I’m on top of this, in the meantime.  Thanks a bunch.”


Best Efforts

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(1).  A caveat added to a promise to complete a task requested after a known or stated deadline, often used by operations to pre-emptively excuse the fact that they have absolutely no intention of completing the annoyingly last-minute request in the first place.


“Well, given that it’s 4:30 on a Friday, running a report of all your transactions since 1996 by the end of the week is going to be on a best efforts basis…”


Best in Class

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(1).  A self-promoting way to describe a firm’s customer service or products, meant to imply that the firm is number one in the industry (a claim for which there is likely no basis and is highly disclaimed in the fine print at the back of the promotional material).


“Team, we’re rolling out our new value proposition to reaffirm to the world our best in class status in the industry.”



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(1).  A situation in which a group of co-workers meet to decide who will take the fall for a major screw-up for which nobody wants to accept responsibility.


“Okay, team…we, don’t want to create a blamestorm here, but I think we all know Tom was the one that forgot to send out the presentation…am I right?”


Props to Mary D. for the submission.


Blue Ribbon

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(1).  A way to make it sound like the members of your team are all winners, and that, by hiring you guys, the client will be a winner, too.


“Our blue ribbon team of experienced professionals will make sure you are receiving the highest level of attention and service every day.”


Bolt On

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(1).  To attempt to merge a new application with your current systems, usually resulting in a Frankenstein-looking mess that will decrease efficiency while increasing frustration.


“So, we’re going to bolt on a bill pay program to our banking platform.  It’s going to be great for our clients, but might require a bit more manual intervention by you guys while we work out the kinks.  Merry Christmas!”


Bottom Feeder

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(1).  That stockbroker who keeps calling you.


(2).  Most of us.


“Over there?  Oh, that’s Sam.  He hangs around churches at night scoping grief support groups for potential clients.  ‘They always have life insurance’, he says.  Real bottom feeder.”


Call Option

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(1).  A small, unprofitable piece of business your sales guy convinces you to take, claiming “there’s a lot of money behind this one.”


“Yeah, I know the fee on this one doesn’t even cover our cost, but this is a call option opportunity.  This guy tells us his company’s going public soon – no, he didn’t say when – and we’ll already be in there when it does!”


Can’t Catch A Falling Sword

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(1). A hokey, colloquial phrase intended to dissuade clients from selling out of a declining investment due to short-term market fluctuations.  Clients are often puzzled as to the phrase’s meaning, leading them to take no action, which was, of course, the speaker’s intent.


Care and Feeding

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(1).  Ongoing client relationship management.  The term is generally used to describe the absolute smallest amount of work you think you can do to avoid the client firing you.


“Now that the client’s accounts are all in and invested, it should really just be down to basic care and feeding at this point.  As I always say – Get ’em in, get ’em invested, then see you in January!”


Catch Up Live

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(1).  A suggestion made over email intended to indicate that something should not be discussed over email.


“Let’s catch up live when you have a moment to discuss the issue with the Smith account.”


Centers of Influence

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(1).  People who usually have more direct access to potential clients than you do (usually a bunch of obnoxious lawyers or accountants who love getting free stuff from banks).


“We’re going to be focusing our outreach efforts this year on local centers of influence.  That means we’re going to need a larger budget for tote bags, pens and the occasional day planner.”


Chase the Hot Dot

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(1).  To always go for the trendy, new investment of the moment.  You’ve got a long road to retirement, my hipster friend.


“So, a lot of folks out there are just chasing the hot dot, you know?  We take a much more measured approach.  Well, “measured” in terms of measuring how much we can charge!  Am I right?!  So, anyway … bless me, Father, for I have sinned ….”


Client Experience

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(1).  Something everyone talks about, but very few care about.


“Don’t you think sending out a 350-page disclaimer may result in a bad client experience?  Anyone?”


Client Experience Issue

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(1). A way for a salesperson to try to weasel out of following some compliance rule by appealing to everyone’s desire to not lose a client.


“I hear you, Barbara…the SEC requires this disclosure…blah, blah, blah…but, seriously, this is going to be a big client experience issue for us, so can’t we just hold off until after the account comes in to send it out?”


Client Onboarding

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(1).  What they used to just call “account opening”.  It’s still just “account opening”.


“So, I reached out to our client onboarding team today to see when we should expect the account to be open.  They asked us for a few missing things, which I was hoping you could get from the client.  Let’s see: birth certificate … mother’s maiden name … and … umm … urine sample.  That should do it.  Thanks a bunch!”



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(1).  An excuse made by employees to management or other co-workers for a seemingly ridiculous or blatantly time-wasting request or project.


“Okay team, we need to run a full analysis of every transaction in the Smith account since 2002.  This is a client-driven request, so let’s roll up our sleeves and bang this out as quickly as possible.”



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(1).  To take expensive and time-consuming exams and classes (see credentializer) in order to add impressive-sounding letters after your name on your resume.


“You’ve got to credentialize that resume, Tom.  I mean, look at me.  I’ve got my CFP, CLU, CTFA, ChFC, AIAF and Series 7, 63 and 24 licenses.  Where did I go to college?  Well…that was a long time ago…umm…”



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(1).  An exam or class taken in order to get some neat-sounding letters after your name.


“So I’m taking my 5th credentializer next week.  They don’t make business cards wide enough for me!”


Crystal Ball Analysis

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(1).  A term used when trying to deflect a client’s request for your opinion on the future of the economy or, even worse, his investment performance.


“Look, Brenda, I don’t want to give you some kind of crystal ball analysis about what’s going to happen two, three years from now.  What I can tell you is that your overall portfolio could’ve done a lot worse considering all the Facebook stock we bought!”



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(1).  The difference between what something is and what it probably should be.


“So, you’re estimate said this would cost $1,000, but you just sent me a bill for $5,000.  That’s what I would call a huge delta.”


Props to Paul A. for the submission.


Differentiating Factor

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(1).  That little something that makes you marginally better than those guys in the hallway waiting to be interviewed after you.


(2).  That little something that makes your firm marginally better than your competitors (each of which is probably being interviewed right after you).


“Well, I think our differentiating factor has to be our sharp suits.  I mean, everyone basically does the same thing, right?  We simply just look better doing it.”


Discuss Live

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(1).  A suggestion made over email intended to indicate that something should not be discussed over email.


“Paul – We discovered an eency, weency, little SEC-type issue with those short sales you entered yesterday.  Let’s discuss live when you have a minute.  Thx.”


Don’t Let the Tax Tail Wag the Investment Dog

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(1).  In finance, an expression used in client meetings to (1) dissuade a client from making or avoiding investment changes purely to avoid (or incur) capital gains taxes, and (2) allow the speaker to show the client how witty he is, while throughly enjoying the sound of his own voice.


“Well, you know what they say, “don’t let the tax tail wag the investment dog“.  Am I right or am I right?  This guy knows what I’m talking about!”


Eat What You Kill

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(1).  A hunting-inspired term used to explain to new stock brokers that their compensation is completely dependent on their sales numbers.


“Sorry, Brian…you eat what you kill around here, you know.  Didn’t hit your numbers, so off to your new life as a barista you go.”


Props to Mark R. for the submission.



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(1).  Mysterious secrets known only to business consultants which are intended to make a company operate in a more proficient and cost-effective manner (see achieve scale).  Usually referenced by project managers to indicate to their superiors that they are adding value, when in reality, they are simply maintaining an endless “to do” list.


“Look, Tim, my job here is to find efficiencies that will make us a better business.  Now, if you don’t mind, I have to get back to re-writing our coffee break policies and procedures.”


Flight Plan

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(1).  The list of clients being off-boarded after you fire that lousy third-party service provider of yours.


“So, Vish, it looks like we have about 400 accounts we’ll need to include in the flight plan.  Given the level of service we ‘ve been getting for the last couple of years, I’m thinking no termination fee.  Your thoughts?”


Four-Legged Call

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(1). Idiotic expression used to describe a sales call where an account exec is accompanied by his/her manager or other “expert”.


“So, Kyle brought a guy from the fixed income team with him this morning to talk about munis.  I guess he thought he needed to have a four-legged call to land the account.”


Props to Mike J. for the submission.


Full Court Press

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(1). A basketball term used by management to pressure sales staff to concentrate on a favored (read: expensive) or, more likely, under-performing product.


Go Live Date

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(1). An artificial deadline for an IT or Ops project to be completed, generally ignored by staff and management alike.  The “go live date” may actually occur anywhere between two weeks and three years from the original, stated timeframe.


“Hey Tom, what’s the go live date for that new client dashboard the neck beards are working on?  I think when we told the higher ups December, they thought we meant of this year!  Can you believe that?  That’s only 11 months away!  We gotta buy more time.”



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(1). A term used when providing negative comments about an answer to a question when the commenter (usually a salesperson with no actual understanding  of the issue) does not believe the answer provides a sufficient (read: client-friendly) solution to the issue.


Grab Defeat Out Of The Jaws Of Victory

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(1).  The failure to stop talking after a client has already agreed to whatever it is you wanted them to do, often causing them to rethink their decision, which in turn results in you going home empty-handed.


“So, the meeting was going great…they agreed to move forward and I was pulling out the paperwork for them to sign…and then here comes Henry!  He wouldn’t shut up!  He just kept going and going.  I can’t remember what he said exactly, but they told us they needed to ‘think about it some more’ and that’s where the meeting ended…talk about grabbing defeat out of the jaws of victory!”


Hand Holding

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(1).  The lion’s share of a wealth manager’s job.  Rich people can be very needy at times.


“Yeah, the meeting went fine.  These folks need a lot of hand holding, you know?  Hey, as long as they keep paying those fees, right?”


Hand-To-Hand Combat

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(1).  When you sit down with a stockbroker to see if you can glom onto his book of business (or … ahem! … “look for potential synergies“).


“So, I went through a little hand-to-hand combat with Ken and I think we were able to identify a couple of accounts where we could be helpful.  He wants us to do it at no charge, of course, which may be a bit of a challenge.”


Hand-To-Hand Combat

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(1).  When you sit down with a broker one-on-one to go through their book to see if there are any business opportunities … for you.


“So, it was a good trip … attended the weekly office meeting … did a little hand-to-hand combat with some of the advisors … identified one or two opportunities they’re going to think about considering possibly exploring further.”


Hard Block

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(1).  Something you build into the system to prevent those morons in the business from bringing down the company by punching the wrong keys.


“Oh, don’t worry about that … we’ve put a hard block on changing those kinds of account parameters.  Just make sure your people don’t try to hit the ‘any’ key.”


High Touch

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(1).  A delicate term used to describe wealthy (and, thus, sensitive and emotional) clients who treat everyone they come in contact with as “the help”.


“This is a high touch business, people.  Our clients just won’t tolerate things like weekends off, nights with the family or religious holidays.  We’re always on!”


High-Net Worth Individual

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(1).  That rich guy who calls you constantly to complain about his bill every … stinking … month.


“We’re really trying to focus our business on high-net worth individuals these days.  I hope you like being called ‘boy’!”



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(1).  The ridiculous corporate practice of punishing your employees by assigning them a new desk each day.  One day, you’re sitting next to the hot babe from HR, and the next, it’s Earl from Data Management Tech who likes to sing along to the soft rock station he’s streaming on his Toughbook.


“So, our company started hoteling last month.  It’s supposed to foster the exchange of ideas across different areas of the firm.  The only problem is – all we talk about is how much we hate hoteling.”


In The Kill Zone

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(1).  An unnecessarily aggressive way to tell your client your market projections were on target.


“So, if you flip to page two, you’ll see that our numbers were in the kill zone for 2014.  BOO YEAH!”