Signs on buildings of Merrill and Morgan Stanley (Images: AP; Ken Wolter/Shutterstock)

The third quarter included mixed results for two of the largest Wall Street firms — though one firm’s wealth unit clearly had stronger flows this period. 

At the corporate level, Bank of America’s profits in the period ending Sept. 30 dropped 15% from a year ago to $4.9 billion, or $0.51 per share. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley’s jumped 25% year over year to $2.72 billion, or $1.66 per share.

Financial Advisor Stats

Morgan Stanley’s tally is 15,469 advisors, up 70 from June 30, but down by 84 from a year ago. The registered reps work with a total of $2.85 trillion in client assets.

Related: BofA Launches Digital Financial Planning Tool

Advisors with Morgan Stanley have an average asset level of $184 million, and average trailing 12-month fees and commissions of $1.20 million as of Sept. 30.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has 17,760 advisors, down by 128 from the prior quarter, but up 103 from last year; these figures include some advisors working on Merrill Edge and other BofA operations. 

The overall wealth unit, which includes BofA Private Bank, has $3.07 trillion of client assets.

The BofA wealth unit’s advisors have average yearly production of $1.07 million; veteran advisors’ 12 month trailing fees and commissions were $1.46 million.

Wealth Unit Performance

The wealth unit of Morgan Stanley had revenues of about $4.66 billion in Q3, up 7% from $4.36 billion in the year-ago period. Its net income, though, dropped 12% year over year to $842 billion.

BofA’s wealth group had revenues of $4.55 billion in Q3 ($3.75 billion of which came from Merrill), down 7% from a year ago. Its profits fell by 32% from a year ago to $749 million.

As for net new assets, Morgan Stanley reported fee-based flows of $23.8 billion, while BofA’s wealth unit had $1.4 billion of net flows in overall assets under management. 

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