The level of new client assets in Morgan Stanley’s wealth management business soared 144% to $66.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 from the year-ago period, the firm said Wednesday. This figure includes both advisor-led and self-directed assets.
Meanwhile, the wealth unit’s total client assets grew 48% year over year to $4 trillion, encompassing $832 billion in self-directed assets. Advisor-led assets rose 21% from a year ago and 15% from the prior quarter to nearly $3.2 trillion.
Morgan Stanley’s financial advisor headcount grew by 482 from a year ago and from 481 in the prior quarter to 15,950.
Total net new assets across wealth management for the year was $206 billion, up from $98 billion in 2019. However, fee-based asset flows slid 3% in Q4 to $24.1 billion.
In comparison, net client asset flows to Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management (GWIM) unit — which includes Merrill Lynch and BofA Private Bank — fell 7% year over year to $7.60 billion in the fourth quarter. The number of net new client households for Merrill advisors also fell to 22,000 in 2020 from 35,000 in 2019 — representing a 37% decline.
Morgan Stanley is no longer releasing average 12-month fees and commissions (or production) per advisor.
In the fourth quarter, the wealth unit had a 24% year-over-year jump in revenues to $10.96 billion, while net income fell 10% to $889 million.
For the full year, the business grew sales 7% from 2019 to $10.96 billion, as profits dropped 10% to $3.42 billion.
Firmwide, Morgan Stanley’s fourth-quarter revenue jumped 24% to $5.7 billion, while its net income fell 10% to $802 million.