December 26, 2012

Morgan Stanley Initiative To Focus on Financial Planning for LGBT Clientele

Advisors equipped to assist same-sex couples in negotiating complicated legal landscape

Morgan Stanley headquarters in Times Square. (Photo: AP) Morgan Stanley headquarters in Times Square. (Photo: AP)

With same-sex marriage legal in a handful of states, civil union laws in place in others and no legal standing available to same-sex couples in still others, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community faces sundry financial planning complications.

Last week, Morgan Stanley launched an initiative to provide financial advisors with wealth planning tools, business development and marketing resources focused specifically on prospective and current LGBT clients.

“In today's ever-changing financial and legal environment, it is important for LGBT couples to work with a wealth management organization that specializes in LGBT wealth planning issues,” Douglas Ketterer, head of U.S. field management at Morgan Stanley, said in a statement.

Ketterer noted that the fractured legal landscape for the LGBT community has complicated “what to do when buying a home, making a will, designating beneficiaries, transferring assets and making sure partners have hospital visitation rights.”

Morgan, he said, was equipping its advisors to advise on these and other issues.

A new client educational resource—LGBT On Your Terms—is available to help same-sex couples understand the factors that are likely to affect their family's finances and long-term plans, according to the statement.

It said details were being made available to financial advisors about the Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisors program, a professional designation that equips advisors to meet the unique financial planning needs of couples who are considered to be unmarried under either state or federal law, or both.

Morgan’s 19-member Diversity Council, comprising financial advisors and branch managers, contributed to the development of this initiative.

 

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