Morgan Stanley and American Express announced Thursday that they launched two new co-branded credit cards exclusively for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney financial advisory clients. Morgan Stanley clients can already get a debit card through Master Card, which will continue, says the firm.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney financial advisors and client service associates will get a “small” amount of compensation for “the administrative process of handling card sign up,” said a spokeswoman. She declined to offer any more details. The firm also declined to say what referrals or sales for other retail banking products have been like among financial advisors, or how many card accounts it would like to have opened by year end.
The regular credit card has a $95 annual fee, and the platinum card has a $450 annual fee.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has been struggling with the integration of its technology platforms and Morgan CEO James Gorman has promised to raise profit margins for the business.
In the fourth quarter, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney reported margins up to 11 percent from 9 percent in the previous quarter, but still far short of the 20 percent Gorman has said he is targeting.
(Read more from Features Editor, Kristen French on her blog, Due Diligence.)