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Morgan Stanley Moves to Boost Household Wealth Capabilities

By Thomas Coyle December 1, 2017

Morgan Stanley is working with financial software maker LifeYield to “streamline the process” Morgan Stanley’s 16,000 or so brokers “use to review their clients’ total household holdings for the purpose of implementing tax-efficient strategies,” the wirehouse says in a press release.

The deal — which imbeds LifeYield’s Advantage Suite software in Morgan Stanley’s advisor-centric Goals Planning System — has been several years in the making and a fast-track priority for Morgan Stanley for much of 2017, a source close to the implementation tells FA-IQ.

The LifeYield initiative is part of a bigger strategy at Morgan Stanley to partner with outside financial technology firms “to assist our financial advisors as they help their clients achieve their financial goals,” says Jed Finn, head of operations for Morgan Stanley’s wealth management unit.

In January, Morgan Stanley mentioned LifeYield among other vendors supporting the wirehouse’s efforts to modernize its service platform.

Boston-based LifeYield first appeared on the fintech scene nearly a decade ago, initially as a tax-optimizer, then additionally as an aid to household-wide wealth management.

Using LifeYield, Morgan Stanley’s roughly 16,000 FAs can take account of their clients’ household taxable and tax-deferred asset location. In theory, this sharpens the FA’s ability to execute tax-optimization strategies while giving clients the means to see where and how their money — especially retirement money — is made, spent and earmarked for long-, medium- and short-term use.

For LifeYield’s CEO Mark Hoffman, Morgan Stanley is “a partner that understands the increasing complexity of wealth management and recognizes the importance of combining the skills of its financial advisors with the strength, depth and consistency of technology.”

Atlanta-based SunTrust’s wealth management unit was an early adopter of LifeYield tax-optimization tools. San Mateo, Calif.-based Franklin Templeton advisors also have access to LifeYield.