The end of the road nears for the 73-year-old Smith Barney moniker, as Morgan Stanley (MS) will...

The end of the road nears for the 73-year-old Smith Barney moniker, as Morgan Stanley (MS) will soon rename its brokerage unit. Future generations may see John Houseman and wonder who the heck he is talking about.
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  • Fourpenny Guy
    , contributor
    Comments (47) | Send Message
    Morgan Stanley's experience in running a large brokerage is spotty, if one considers Dean Witter, which was never integrated, and led, initially, to the departure of John Mack. Consider that the firm is not Wells Fargo, which is far more diversified and underpinned by a bank, which MS lacks. I am really skeptical that a firm as small as MS can suddenly be an expert in a field in which it lacks seasoning. If one truly believes that former Merrill executives can manage 17,500 brokers, or whatever the number is, I have swampland to sell you. I fail to see the value in that franchise, with its fee based selling, which enriches the broker at the expense of the client. If I am a client, I want the diversification that Wells offers, not a business model driven by insecurity that is seeking the resurrection of Merrill. I think we all know how well that model worked. Just ask Bank of America. However, MS has value in investment banking, which, coupled with brokerage, would be a good fit for a larger buyer, sooner, rather than later.


    28 Jun 2011, 08:37 PM Reply Like
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