Goodbye to Smith Barney, But Not Its Brokers
For the first time since the financial crisis, Morgan Stanley is launching a major ad campaign.
The campaign’s aim is twofold. First it’s reintroducing its renamed brokerage unit. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney will now be known as Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.
Second, it aims to remind the businesses 17,000 financial advisors they are all part of the same team.
It’s a tall job. The brokerage business was formed through a joint venture between Morgan Stanley and Citi’s Smith Barney unit.
The three year integration of the two was the largest ever in the brokerage business.
As the brokers moved to a common platform, many of the legacy Smith Barney brokers expressed dissatisfaction with the new technology, some have threatened to leave and some have threatened to sue.
(Read More: About-Face for Bankers' New Lobbyist.)
But Greg Fleming, President of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, tells CNBC in an exclusive interview the complaints are being addressed and the threat of a mass exodus of top performers won’t happen.
He also talked about his plans to meet hit profit targets and build on them at a unit Morgan Stanley is touting as a key part of its more stable future.
Morgan Stanley on Track to Deliver 'Mid-Teen' Pretax Profit Margin:
For almost two years now Morgan Stanley's promised a "mid-teens" pretax profit margin for the brokerage business. Fleming said the business is on track to deliver that number in 2013.
Morgan Stanley's Fleming. on Paying to Poach Talent:
Fleming said he's still willing to pay to poach top performing brokers from clients. Here's why.
MS's Fleming on Acquiring the Remaining 35 Percent of Smith Barney:
Sooner rather than later. Fleming talks of the advantage of acquiring remaining 35 percent of Smith Barney before the June 2012 deadline, Fleming said it is a priority for MS's CEO James Gorman.
-By CNBC's Mary Thompson