“We have a spectacular asset,” Morgan Stanley (MS +1.7%) James Gorman tells the FT. “We’re the 10th largest bank in the country and we have no bricks and mortar.” Retail banking has become so important to Morgan Stanley, says Gorman, that management has recently explored - and rejected for now - publishing separate results for the business.
The focus going forward will be on lending to existing brokerage clients - particularly mortgages and loans secured against customers' portfolios.
Analysts note this isn't Gorman's first rodeo and his initial experience had a few bumps. As Merrill Lynch's brokerage chief in 2002, Gorman pushed to develop deeper banking relationships with that company's clients. "There's absolutely no reason why our clients should have a bank relationship away from Merrill," he said then. Two years later, Merrill took a big charge for bad loans.