Which group has more money?
Merrill Lynch advisors have about $2.2 trillion as of June 30, 2017, vs. $2.24 trillion at Morgan Stanley.
But when assets at US Trust are combined with those of Merrill, the Bank of America Global Wealth & Investment Management group, the unit has some $2.62 trillion.
Which group has more advisors?
Morgan Stanley has 15,777 in its advisor ranks vs. 14,811 at Merrill Lynch. If Merrill’s consumer banking advisors — which number 2,206 — are included, its ranks swell to 17,017.
Merrill says it added 254 reps in the latest quarter and is up 231 from a year ago, while Morgan Stanley says its headcount was flat vs. the earlier period and is down 132 from a year ago.
How about average fees and commissions?
Morgan Stanley’s advisors have 12-month-trailing production of $1,050,00 as of June 30 vs. $1,040,000 for Merrill’s Thundering Herd. But Merrill also shares the performance of its veteran advisors (which excludes the production of the 3,000 reps in its training program): $1,350,000.
Morgan Stanley says the average level of assets per advisor is $142 million. Merrill doesn't provide that figure.
Which firm is better in terms of total revenues, net income and profit margins?
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management had sales of $4.15 billion in Q2’17 vs. $3.87 billion for Merrill Lynch and $4.70 billion for BofA Global Wealth (which includes US Trust).
Net income before taxes was $1.29 billion for the BofA wealth group vs. $1.06 billion at Morgan Stanley. (Merrill Lynch’s specific net income figures are not released by Bank of America.)
This gives the BofA wealth group a pre-tax margin of 28% vs. 25% at Morgan Stanley.
Post-tax net income at BofA’s wealth group was $804 million (up 14% from last year) vs. $665 million at Morgan Stanley (up 29% from a year ago).
What about fee-based assets?
Bank of America Global Wealth & Investment Management has fee-based assets of $991 billion vs. $960 billion for Morgan Stanley.
As a percent of total assets though, Morgan Stanley is at 43% fee-based vs. 38% for the BofA wealth group.
How about asset flows?
In the second quarter, BofA wealth had net client inflows $27.5 billion. Morgan Stanley shares only its fee-based flows, which it said were $19.9 billion in Q2’17.
What about loans?
BofA says its wealth-management group clients had a total of $156.3 billion in loans and leases, which include margin receivables.
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management clients’ loan balances stood at $77 billion as of June 30.
And net interest income?
BofA wealth’s total was $1.60 billion in Q2’17 vs. $1.01 billion at Morgan Stanley.
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