Morgan Stanley to cut hundreds of jobs in its wealth unit as shares take hit

Morgan Stanley is planning to eliminate several hundred jobs, the first such move under Chief Executive Officer Ted Pick.

Morgan Stanley to cut hundreds of jobs(REUTERS)
Morgan Stanley to cut hundreds of jobs(REUTERS)

The cuts will affect less than 1% of employees in the wealth-management business, which has about 40,000 workers and is the firm’s largest unit, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

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A representative for Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Pick took the helm in January from James Gorman, who eliminated more than 3,000 jobs last year amid a renewed focus on expenses and a slump in fees from a dealmaking drought.

The bank’s shares have been the worst-performing among its biggest US peers this year, down about 10%. Last month, the company warned that it will take longer to achieve its profit-margin goals in the wealth unit and signaled that the below-target results will last a little while longer.

The division, which got a boost for much of last year from higher net interest income, could see that benefit start to fade if the Federal Reserve starts lowering interest rates later this year.

Net new assets in the unit remained under $50 billion for a second straight quarter in the last three months of 2023. That pace is short of Morgan Stanley’s target of more than $300 billion a year.

During his first quarterly earnings call with analysts last month, the new CEO said that the wealth segment is the engine of the firm and the bank has been committed to growing it. The unit pulled in 48% of total revenue last year, compared with 42.2% at the investment bank.

The Wall Street Journal reported the job cuts earlier Wednesday.

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