Morgan Stanley Cuts Advisor Staff, Offices

Posted by adaniels in Blog on October 27, 2011

 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is cutting down on its headcount, FundFire reports, shutting down 32 locations and listing 350 fewer advisors in the third quarter of 2011.

The bank is now down to 772 branches, and its financial advisor headcount has been reduced by 800 over the past year. FundFire says that this lower number is a combination of layoffs and advisors departing for other financial firms.

The banking powerhouse still has more financial advisors than anyone else, with 17,291 as of the end of last month, and has $175 billion in assets for separately managed accounts, the most in the business. But the company is seeing its revenue drop. Assets from customers with $10 million or more invested have dropped from $539 billion to $482 billion over the past three months.

In addition, the “annualized production per advisor” figure went from $785,000 on June 30 to $747,000 on September 30, and the “client assets per advisor” number dropped from $97 million at the end of the second quarter, to $90 million at the end of the third quarter.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley blamed the current state of the economy for the lower figures.  Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch, the firm’s biggest competition, has added 475 financial advisors over the last quarter to reach a total of 16,722.

Written by Lisa Swan


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