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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hasta La Vista, Smith Barney

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Smith Barney is no more, mostly.

As expected, today Morgan Stanley revealed that it has dropped the Smith Barney part of the MSSB name, rebranding its wirehouse Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Greg Fleming serves as president of MSWM. Yet the investment bank confirmed that the wirehouses's "broker-dealer designation" will still be "Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC."

The move follows last week's news that Morgan Stanley will pay $1.89 billion to buy another 14 percent of the wirehouse from joint venture partner Citigroup, which previously owned Smith Barney. That deal boost's Morgan Stanley stake in what is now MSWM to 65 and gives Morgan Stanley chief James Gorman the option to buy the remaining 35 percent at the same price level by June 1, 2015. Citi and Morgan Stanley combined the wirehouses three years ago.

MSWM boasts $1.7 trillion in client assets, 17,000 advisors and 740 branches.

"We are culminating a three-year effort to integrate two outstanding franchises," Gorman stated.

Company Press Release

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is Now Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Morgan Stanley’s U.S. Wealth Management Business Has a New Name Following Largest-Ever Integration in the Wealth Management Industry
Sep 25 2012 | New York

  Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) today announced that its U.S. wealth management business, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, has been renamed Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (MSWM). 

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is an industry leader, managing $1.7 trillion in client assets through a network of 17,000 representatives in 740 locations.  Morgan Stanley on September 11 announced an agreement with Citigroup to increase its majority ownership of MSWM such that Morgan Stanley will assume full control by June of 2015, subject to regulatory approval.  The business was formed in 2009 as a joint venture between Morgan Stanley and Citi’s Smith Barney. 

“Today, as we move under one name, we are culminating a three-year effort to integrate two outstanding franchises,” said James Gorman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley.  “The Smith Barney name stood for investment excellence for three-quarters of a century, and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management will provide the first-class service that has distinguished Morgan Stanley as a firm for more than 75 years.  Going forward, we remain focused on being the world’s premier wealth management group.”

Said Greg Fleming, President of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, “Today, we are one integrated business, with one overarching mission: to earn the trust of our clients every day through superior advice and execution.  Our name has changed to reflect our integration, but our mission remains the same: We are committed to helping our clients reach their financial goals.”

The broker-dealer designation for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management will remain “Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC.”

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, a global leader in wealth management, provides access to a wide range of products and services to individuals, businesses and institutions, including brokerage and investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, credit and lending, cash management, annuities and insurance, retirement and trust services.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services.  The Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals from more than 1,200 offices in 43 countries.  For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

Media Relations Contact: ?
Jeanmarie McFadden, 212.761.2433 ?
Jim Wiggins, 914.225.6161

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