Morgan Stanley’s wealth management unit has shed some advisors in the third quarter but the division nonetheless grew its assets under management despite slowing asset flows. Revenues and income remained relatively unchanged, according to the company’s third-quarter earnings release.
The wirehouse’s advisor count stood at 15,553 at the end of the third quarter, compared to 15,633 in the previous quarter and 15,655 in the third quarter of 2018, according to Morgan Stanley’s most recent earnings report. Average advisor productivity also slipped, from $1.125 million in the second quarter to $1.118 in the third, the company says.
Overall client assets, however, were $2.56 trillion in the third quarter, which was a 3% increase from last year. And client assets per representative reached $165 million, compared to $164 million in the second quarter and $159 million in the third quarter of 2018, according to the report.
Fee-based client assets inched up to $1.19 trillion in the third quarter, from $1.12 trillion in the third quarter of 2018. Fee-based asset flows slowed to $15.5 billion in the latest quarter, compared to $16.2 billion a year ago, Morgan Stanley says.
Net revenues in the unit slipped from $4.4 billion in the third quarter last year to $4.36 billion in the third quarter of 2019.
Asset management revenues increased slightly from last year while transaction revenues dropped from $698 million to $595 million, which Morgan Stanley attributes to “losses on investments associated with certain employee deferred compensations plans.”
Income, at $1.24 billion, remained relatively unchanged compared to the second quarter of 2019, and was slightly higher than the $1.2 billion reported in the third quarter of 2018.