Agent Handbook & FAQ
A collection of frequently asked questions made by our team of affiliates over time
Tracking Your Client's Funding Progress In The Agent Portal
As a registered A. B. Nicholas Affiliate, you will have a portal designed specifically for your user o keep you informed and to assist in bringing information on the LeverageLine program to your clients. The following is an overview of what to expect from your Agent Portal, a key resource for you as an A. B. Nicholas Agent. Familiarizing yourself with the portal can enhance your lead generation abilities while staying up-to-date on your client’s status and remaining compliant with the mandate our licensed lending partners have given to us to “refer, not broker” transactions for A. B. Nicholas financial products. We welcome prospective agents’ questions and you can obtain further Agent help via our contact page, or if you are not yet an agent and want to go directly to applying, proceed to our stock loan affiliate program.
Any legal cases of any kind, even those that have been dismissed or settled, other than divorce or misdemeanors, must be disclosed at the time of application. (Note please: Failure to do so may result in cancellation of your registration and a return of any fees.) Each case is evaluated separately; disclosure does not automatically preclude anyone from becoming an ABN Agent, but non-disclosure does. (We use the PACER database for this purpose).
Function and Purpose
The Portal is a password-protected, fully encrypted, SSL-secured space that serves to provide study materials, banners, an airtight clickthrough system for passive referring, and a graphical status report on all clients you have referred to us. It is designed to give agents a means to refer clients either manually or passively using the clickthrough system (a virtually failsafe system because we only accept applications for financing via our website, where agent info is automatically captured so you are credited); and it is designed to provide you with automatic updates on your clients so you know at all times where in the process your client stands, how long until funding, and your share of fees.
Passive Clickthroughs Secured
Many agents simply set up a webpage with their unique ABN clickthrough AIN (Agent Identification Number) code and await their portal email notifications whoever a client successfully submits an application. Paydays are always immediate upon receipt, which is always within one business day of funding. If you should need Agent help with the clickthrough system, feel free to contact Marie Wood.
When using the clickthrough system, they can learn about our LeverageLine program with the latest up-to-date information by allowing them free run of the A. B. Nicholas website. Using your clickthrough code in the link on your website, you can have clients learn about the program in full with the assurance that whenever they choose to apply, the Agent of record is credited with that client.
The Agent Identification Number
Every A. B. Nicholas agent has a unique identifier (AIN) with the form /?AIN=1234-5467 that can be attached to any URL, for example, https://abnicholas.com/?AIN=1234-5467. In doing so, you place a “persistent cookie” with that individual that can last a full year and protects each Agent so that they are credited with that client. For example, if you wanted to add a URL to your website that took visitors to the main information page for our LeverageLine program, and be sure you are credited for that client when they eventually head to the Quote page to apply, it might look like https://abnicholas.com/credit-lines/?AIN=1234-567).
Banners and Flyers
You can download any of the banners or flyers or PDF flyers in the resource area of your Portal and link or add to your website or email with your clickthrough code attached. We can customize these for you on banners or other material if you wish by adding your unique code to clickable areas on the PDF or banner. Send us your request.
Confirmations & Assurances
You of course are free to send in your client yourself, by filling out the Quote form for them. Remember: regardless of how or in what manner they may contact us, or what conversations we may have with them, we will, by licensed lender institution strict rules, only take applications for LeverageLine (or OpLine) via our secure online application form.
To put it slightly differently, they cannot obtain financing from ABN without applying via this formal application form whereby your code (if they clicked on your AIN code at any time in the prior year), will be captured and we will automatically record the client to you as your referral.
Note that for extra security against circumvention, if that is your concern, you can instead opt to send the name of your client to us by email, or call the client in. We do not permit circumvention at A. B. Nicholas and provided that client is indeed yours and has not come to us through someone else, we will always credit the client to you.
Submitting Your Clients Manually
Agents are urged, but not required, to gather the client’s brokerage statement and ID and then go to our online LeverageLine form to apply on behalf of your clients after you collect their info. Collecting your client’s information then loading it into the secure application form ensures that you learn what is needed and that nothing is missing in the application process. It is not necessary, of course — the client is free to apply himself — but when you as Agent collect all documents and information, it ensures there is nothing missing.
Client Security and Privacy
Your client’s sensitive documents are encrypted with DoD level 256-bit encryption, thereby avoiding the insecure channel of email. All document attachments go to a “virtual encrypted lockbox” that cannot be accessed except with a password and ID by the lending institution itself, and that ensures that only the licensed lending institution and A. B. Nicholas will have access to these documents. This is an important confidence-building feature for your clients. All documents are purged from the secure lockbox after use for the term sheet.
Updates and Progress
Information on any and all of your clients, no matter how they came to us, appears in your My Transactions area. Whenever a transaction is updated – whether status, notes, or any other part of the record — an email is instantly sent to you to notify you of the update. Login here with your PW and ID. If you have forgotten either, you can recover them easily at the same login window.
Feel free to log into your Agent Portal account frequently to check on the status of your clients, access news, and review new marketing materials. In your client progress transaction area, portfolio value, credit line value, rate, LTV, and your fees are shown in the My Transactions area of your Portal, and we intend to update these regularly.
Other Marketing Materials
In addition to banners, you can also access Word and PDF documents containing approved text that you can use verbatim or extract and use in websites or emails. Please keep in mind that we are only able to provide this service through our licensed institutional lending partners’ permission and because we have agreed to abide by a set of their strict marketing rules. It is therefore most important to never publicly place any information on the names of the licensed lenders in marketing, whether using the LeverageLine brand name or not.
Another item with which we have agreed as a condition to building a salesforce is that all marketing or web language about our LeverageLine program must be approved in advance. A. B. Nicholas follows daily latest updates to the program, and we know what can and cannot be said in marketing. Therefore it is imperative that you as an agent of A. B. Nicholas abide by these rules, which are also outlined in your Affiliate Agent Agreement.
We will be adding text documents and other items to the marketing materials library regularly. You are free to download and use these textual materials as you wish. If you do not see what you seek, feel free to make a request.
For all these reasons, if you want to alter anything, please be sure to obtain approval before publishing ahead of time. If you have any questions, use our Agent Help contact number or link below.
Customize the look and feel of your site, pick a color scheme, upload an avatar graphic — the choice is yours. Choose Settings from the left menu to access this area of your Portal.
News and Announcements
A. B. Nicholas will provide examples of success stories, tips, news, and information on legal and compliance issues in this section. When you first log on, you will see these news items in your dashboard at the right. You can get additional Agent Help by calling or writing us.
Additional Agent Help
If you need further agent help at any time, contact us or call us at 202.379.4744 Ext. 2. Leave a message if we are busy and we will return your call or email a response promptly. We welcome feedback.
While simply referring a client does not require any particular background, we do require that you have a clean record (no criminal, or finance-related civil cases brought against you, regardless of outcome).
To use our program on your website or to integrate our program your existing business offerings as many of our partners do, you’ll require a background in a financial, real estate, accounting, franchising, or related securities or finance-related field, or a field such as commercial real estate, franchising, or. construction where the LeverageLine financing program can be useful.
You must be signed as an agent to receive compensation for legal reasons. You may refer a client any time, but if you plan on placing our program on your website, we do need to review your background first. A simple resume or narrative should be sufficient.
Finally, we ask that you please do not apply if you are planning to start a new marketing program using our LeverageLine as the anchor. Ours is a referral program for pre-existing businesses in an ancillary field..
This is essential for our line of business.
To refer clients to A. B. Nicholas and receive compensation, you cannot have any unresolved or undisclosed civil or criminal legal cases where you were a defendant, past or present. Full disclosures required IF there an issue of this type. Divorce, minor drug offenses without repeat, traffic, misdemeanors, traffic tickets need not be disclosed. However, undisclosed relevant or more serious legal matters, particularly those surrounding the core financial fields we serve — are grounds for immediate termination if not disclosed. (Note: Disclosure is not automatic rejection of your application; non-disclosure, however, is).
We work exclusively with fully regulated and licensed public U.S. institutions with impeccable reputations; we engage absolutely no private lenders, nonrecourse lenders, or escrow lenders of any kind. All of our lending partner advisors are FINRA/SIPC registered with further licensing in several related areas and unblemished outstanding backgrounds.
This means that compliance is key to being a referral agent at A. B. Nicholas.
As a condition to our working with this level of institution and personnel, providing a quality product as we do, we — and our agent force by extension — must never provide any form of tax advice, insurance advice, legal advice, or securities buy-sell (investment) advice unless you are specifically and currently licensed to do so in your state of residence. Providing such advice without being properly licensed will be grounds for termination.
Per institution rules, Agents may not charge fees pursuant to this financing separately AND receive A. B. Nicholas referral fees at the same time.
This “double dipping” procedure is prohibited as part of our agreements with our lending institutions and advisors and is designed to ensure that no client is forced to pay fees beyond what is disclosed and reasonable. It is therefore also an ethical issue and tied to the reputations of all concerned. Therefore: Agents may not receive ABN fees and outside fees on the same LeverageLine transaction (you may provide additional unrelated services for compensation). Contact us for any questions. LeverageLine fees are one time only.
Keep in mind that this applies to our LeverageLine funding only. If you are, for example, licensed to provide the client insurance products and are also referring the client into the LeverageLine program this would not apply. There is no conflict as long as the other service/product (insurance in this case) is a fully and distinctly a separate service for which you are being separately compensated.
The purpose of this rule is to prevent clients from being charged twice for the same service. Again, contact us if you need clarification. (Any undisclosed outside fees for our LeverageLine program are required to be returned to the client in full as a condition for continuing with A. B. Nicholas.)
You should already have an existing network or market space of potential clients in one of the areas we serve or an area that you feel would be suitable for LeverageLine. LeverageLine is not intended as a program for those looking to start a completely new, unrelated career in Leverageline stock loan financing via mass marketing or email blasts to clients with whom they are unfamiliar.