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Morgan Stanley Sheds 95 FAs Year-Over-Year

April 19, 2018

Morgan Stanley has shed some advisors in the first quarter of 2018, with its advisor ranks lower than the previous quarter as well as than the year prior, according to the company’s latest quarterly earnings report. But advisor attrition at the company is at a record low, according to a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman cited by AdvisorHub.

The wirehouse’s advisor ranks dropped from 15,712 at the end of 2017 to 15,682 at the end of the first quarter this year, according to the earnings report. The current ranks are 1% lower than the year prior, according to the report.

But in an earnings call with analysts yesterday, a spokeswoman for the wirehouse claimed that while the wealth management unit “only recruited a handful of people” in the most recent quarter, it has brought its broker attrition rate down to a record low of 1.8%, AdvisorHub writes.

Moreover, just 0.3% of its advisors jumped ship to rivals, she said, according to the industry news website. In addition, Jonathan Pruzan, the company’s chief financial officer, said in the earnings call that the brokers who did leave had relatively low production, according to AdvisorHub. But the company didn’t go into details about its success in retaining brokers, the website writes.

Morgan Stanley has shifted gears in recent months as far as broker retention. Last spring the firm opted to cut back on recruiting and instead focus on helping its current advisors bring on more client assets.

In October Morgan Stanley pulled out of the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, the industry accord that lets departing advisors take some client information with them without the threat of getting sued. The wirehouse has been seeking temporary restraining orders against advisors leaving for rivals ever since.

(iStock Photos)

Revenues in the wealth unit reached $4.4 billion in the first quarter of 2018, a 1% drop from the last quarter of 2017 but an 8% increase year over year, Morgan Stanley says. Net income in the company’s wealth management unit was $914 million in the first quarter, meanwhile, compared to $315 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 and $647 million a year prior, according to the report.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the AdvisorHub article cited in this story, click here.