Morgan Stanley advisors look out, it appears the firm is sending a warning out to its wealth management force. According to Wealth Management, “Morgan Stanley in February filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against a breakaway team in Farmington Hills, Mich. It was recently withdrawn. A lawyer for the breakaway team suggests that Morgan Stanley lawyers deliberately used the court filing, and prolonged the case, to make the conflict public and deter other breakaways”. One lawyer commenting on the moves says that Morgan Stanley is likely doing it to intimidate their current advisors into not jumping ship.
FINSUM: The end of the broker protocol made what was a tenuous environment into an all-out battlefield. This definitely seems like an intimidation tactic.
The Broker Protocol just suffered another loss. Despite Merrill Lynch deciding to stay in the agreement, the loss of Morgan Stanley and UBS appeared too much of an enticement, and Citigroup has now departed. Citigroup has about 1,000 advisors across the country, and the bank says that leaving the Protocol will allow them to “continue to invest in our growing team of award-winning financial advisers”.
FINSUM: So MS, UBS, and Citigroup are now gone, with ML and Raymond James saying they will stay in. One side is eventually going to win. We think the leavers will eventually cause MS and RJ to leave.