MORGAN STANLEY MOTIVATION: Brass Brags About Protocol Exit Legal Strategies

As the quarterly results were announced at Morgan Stanley, one thing becomes abundantly clear. Wealth management, and it’s associated fees, are the goose that lays the golden egg. Better than 40% of total revenue for the quarter came from the firm’s wealth management division. 

But right behind the ‘attaboy’ for the firm’s broker ranks was a subtle reminder regarding who’s boss at the firm. Take a quick glance at what the wealth management boss at the firm had to say about the success of the broker protocol exit strategy:

“It’s an area where we’ve intensified our efforts and have had terrific results,” he said, noting that managers are now spending more time “quarterbacking” the process because they are less focused on recruiting.”


“It’s not unusual for us to retain the majority of clients when an advisor departs.”

“Asset attrition over the last five years, net of assets added through the firm’s dwindling recruiting efforts, averaged in the single-digit billions of dollars, the company said.”

In other words, Saperstein and his charges view their exit from the broker protocol as a raving success. To hammer home that point, from Saperstein himself, “It’s not unusual for us to retain the majority of clients when an advisor departs.”

Thus is the driving philosophy of Morgan Stanley WMA as of today. The logo on our business card controls the client relationship, not you, the advisor. 

At times the arrogance is hard to take.

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