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Morgan Stanley to Move to Monthly Billing

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To simplify its billing process, Morgan Stanley announced that in the first quarter of 2020, it is moving to a monthly cycle from a quarterly one for its advisory clients.

The firm decided to make the change after analyzing the “benefits and requirements” of the monthly system, and gathering feedback from advisors, according to a statement from Vince Lumia, head of field management, and Ben Huneke, head of investment solutions.

Other firms like Merrill Lynch already charge on a monthly basis.

Morgan Stanley aims to “provide more clarity, simplicity and consistency as the balance on [advisors’] monthly statements will directly align to the fee they are charged,” Lumia and Huneke explained.

Other advantages include a billing cycle that “more accurately aligns the performance of a client’s account with their fee,” as well as simplification for clients, whose fees “will be calculated off of prior month-end balances.” The change in billing doesn’t change processing costs.

Morgan Stanley noted that “the process to implement this change will take some time,” so it won’t be operational until 2020. Clients will get 60 days’ written notice prior to the change.

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