Morgan Stanley Smith Barney President Charles Johnston told reporters April 23 at an industry conference that the broker-dealer expects to continue closing offices as part of the firm’s consolidation, eventually getting down to about 750 branches from today’s 870.
The joint venture between Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney, formed on May 1, 2009, started at about 1,000 offices.
It still has some overlapping locations, excess capacity and expiring leases, according to a spokesperson. Morgan Stanley, however, does not intend to exit any markets, and “many markets will continue to support multiple locations,” the spokesperson said.
(Before the joint venture, Morgan Stanley had about 465 U.S. branches.)
In the latest quarter (ended March 30, 2010), MSSB had 18,140 financial advisors, down a tad from 18,135 in the fourth quarter of 2009 and 18,444 in the second quarter of 2009. In the first quarter of 2009, before the joint venture with Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley had 8,148 advisors.
MSSB advisors have annualized sales of $685,000 vs. $630,000 a year-ago for the Morgan Stanley advisors.
Assets under management for MSSB are $1.6 trillion vs. $1.56 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2009 and $525 million a year ago. The represents an average of $88 million per advisor.