Today Morgan Stanley Smith Barney announced the integration of Smith Barney’s Citi Family Office into its own ultra-high-net-worth division, which will now be called Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. Unlike the old family office, the newly combined unit will exclusively serve clients with a minimum of $20 million in assets. Morgan said it plans to add more advisors to PWM through a combination of “organic growth and selective acquisitions.”
Today approximately 150 private wealth advisors work at Morgan Stanley PWM in the U.S., 50 to 75 of whom came over from Citi Family Office. Globally, the division has 500 advisors. Over the next three to five years, the firm would like to double the size of the PWM division in the U.S. to about 300 advisors, and globally it would like to bring advisor headcount to 700, says a Morgan Stanley spokesperson. “We wanted to make it clear to the market that we’re committed to the UHNW client.”
Advisors who are in the old Morgan Stanley private wealth division and have some clients with fewer than $20 million in assets can either opt to give up those clients, or move to the MSSB global wealth management (GWM) division.
According to the release, the unit will be led by Michael Armstrong, who will partner closely with Andy Saperstein, Managing Director and head of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s broader wealth management business in the U.S.
MSSB’s announcement came after Morgan posted a 3Q profit yesterday of $757 million versus $8.15 billion a year earlier—the firm’s first profitable quarter in a year. Meanwhile GWM’s earnings reflected the first full quarter to include consolidated results from the Smith Barney acquisition, which closed on May 31, 2009.