Morgan Stanley Wants 'More Wallet from Clients'

Morgan Stanley Wants 'More Wallet from Clients'

Morgan Stanley's wealth management team wants clients to do more business with the firm, whether that means moving more of their investment assets there, taking out loans or performing basic cash management, senior executives said on Monday.

This summer, the Wall Street bank is rolling out a new initiative for wealth clients called "premiere cash management," which includes online bill paying and checking, as well as fraud monitoring and insurance.

"We are very interested in capturing more wallet from clients where we don't have the entire wallet, with additional services we will provide," Shelley O'Connor, Morgan Stanley's co-head of wealth management, said at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit in New York. "That will be a key focus."

Morgan Stanley currently has 3.5 million households as wealth clients. The bank wants to grow the number of clients it has, but is even more interested in doing additional business with existing clients - particularly those with more than $1 million in investable assets, O'Connor and her counterpart, Andy Saperstein, told Reuters.

Morgan Stanley's push to be a bigger part of its clients' financial lives is not new, but it is more of a focus now.

The wealth management industry broadly is coming under pressure from automated investing platforms like Wealthfront Inc and Betterment LLC, which offer investment advice at a much lower cost than traditional brokerage firms. In turn, Morgan Stanley and its peers are looking for ways to offer more services to clients, to make the role of a financial adviser more valuable.

According to a handout provided by Morgan Stanley, it has been evolving its business model to become more of a "family wealth manager" that provides a range of services, from creating investment portfolios to philanthropy management and "lifestyle advisory."

In the past, clients might work with a number of different firms to invest their assets, but that trend is changing, Saperstein said.

"We're starting to see a trend towards consolidation ... to capture those assets," he said.

Morgan executives say they also interested in attracting new clients, particularly millennials, and are looking at creating new roles on wealth teams to cater to them.

"We might have hoodies, maybe people with pinstripe hoods," Saperstein joked.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; editing by Lauren LaCapra and Tom Brown)

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