Morgan Stanley to Unveil New Training Program

Sometime during the first quarter of 2002, Morgan Stanley will unveil a new rookie training program. The biggest change is a requirement that trainees complete five modules of coursework to prepare for the CFP exam, says Todd Taylor, Morgan Stanley's head of training. The firm is working with The American College to develop the modules (see Morgan Stanley Teams With The American College, right). The

Sometime during the first quarter of 2002, Morgan Stanley will unveil a new rookie training program.

The biggest change is a requirement that trainees complete five modules of coursework to prepare for the CFP exam, says Todd Taylor, Morgan Stanley's head of training. The firm is working with The American College to develop the modules (see “Morgan Stanley Teams With The American College,” right).

The firm's current training program lasts two years, but the new program adds another year, with the second and third years devoted to completing the CFP modules, Taylor says.

Trainees are now on a salary for two years. That could be extended, but the firm would not give details. Morgan Stanley will also lengthen the period of time before trainees go into production, from four to seven months, Taylor says.

“Over the past 18 months, we really looked at what some of our best financial advisers were doing and decided to make [financial planning] part of how we train our new FAs,” Taylor says.

Morgan Stanley trainees now spend their first 13 weeks in a branch, learning about products and studying for their licenses. Part of that program will remain, but will be supplemented with education on asset allocation and diversification as a “key cornerstone,” Taylor says.

In the past, trainees would then go to the firm's training headquarters at the World Trade Center for three weeks. Since that facility is gone, trainees will now report to one of four regional centers in Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta and the New York area.

Morgan Stanley Teams With The American College

Morgan Stanley has been working with The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., to develop a CFP-prep curriculum that will be “intertwined” with Morgan Stanley's existing training, says Todd Taylor, head of training at the brokerage. The coursework will be delivered via computer, instructor-led classes and satellite broadcasts. The American College is also helping to develop introductory courses that will precede the CFP training, Taylor says.

Trainees will not be required to take the CFP exam, but the firm will provide incentives for them to do so, Taylor says. Incentives could include greater compensation or titles for those who get the designation.
R.R.

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