Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

www.morganstanleysmithbarney.com
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Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Reviews

Updated June 4, 2015
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Morgan Stanley Smith Barney President Greg Fleming
Greg Fleming
2 Ratings

Pros
  • Stable career and good work/life balance (in 15 reviews)

  • Fortune 500 company with good benefits (in 22 reviews)

Cons
  • There is a disconnect between the companies desire for Financial Advisor Associates to succeed and their actions (in 20 reviews)

  • The training program was a complete joke (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

6 Employee Reviews

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  1. Financial Advisor Trainee Program

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They pay for all the Licensing fees, Lots of Products, you meet plenty of experienced FAs

    Cons

    Prelicense materials are bad, training Program set you up to fail, churn and burn through the Trainees, Older established FAs don't care about the Trainees, they whole Program does not work.

    Advice to Management

    Scrap the Program and start over. Or a least 6 months of month Zero to learn how to succeed


  2. Helpful (1)

    Formerly an excellent company but has gone downhill

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Formerly well-managed, could possibly become so again Good corporate culture with well communicated initiatives Good benefits

    Cons

    Frequent changes in structure, products, services which negatively affect customers Company claims to make optimal use of employees skills and experience but this is not true, if you are in a position beneath your abilities it is almost impossible to become better matched Be careful if you are hired as a financial advisor because their business model is set up to use you for your contacts and network and then give them to "tenured" advisors.

    Advice to Management

    Change your business model so that you have specialized each of sales/marketers, portfolio managers, and service personnel instead of making your advisors do all of these roles at once. Because advisors have to constantly bring in more business, they neglect their clients portfolios and performance suffers. Also, make it mandatory to re-assign the over qualified employees.


  3. Great learning opportunity and chance network with wealthy individuals

    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Intern - Private Wealth Management Intern in Chicago, IL
    Former Intern - Private Wealth Management Intern in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Prestige of working for one of the top investment banks, great learning opportunity, great networking, beautiful office

    Cons

    Long hours, unhappy employees, definite hierarchy structure I worked with one CSA (essentially secretary) who was completely incompetent, rude, and moody yet had not been fired, let alone spoken to about her unprofessional and rude actions

    Advice to Management

    Provide incentives for lower level employees (CSAs) to actually complete their work in a timely matter


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  5. Good Training Poor Follow Through

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good training program that allows you to get licensed and trained to be a financial advisor. Co-workers are some of the best advisors in the industry.

    Cons

    Managements lack of understanding of the business. Focus is on top level producers and not trainees.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the future of the business which are your trainees. Baby boomer FA's are nearing retirement, then what?


  6. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Compliance in North Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Compliance in North Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    large company opportunity in sales

    Cons

    non-sales opportunity is all in NY

    Advice to Management

    na


  7. Helpful (2)

    Good place to obtain securities licenses

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor Trainee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor Trainee in Chicago, IL
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you can get your foot in the door and can live on a very modest salary for a year, you'll have benefits and a chance to study and take your securities and insurance license exams.

    Cons

    If you don't pass your series 6 and 7 the first time you are immediately terminated. Commissions and trails on mutual fund sales are only around 1%. Morgan Stanley gives you about 30% of that 1%. So if you have a million dollars in assets under management you'll earn $3,000. Pretty tough. Life insurance sales are around 4%. This information is from 2008, so compensation might a bit different

    Advice to Management

    Trainees might do better if they had some guidance from a salaried trainer. Otherwise, the trainee ends up "pairing" with a senior broker who hopes that he'll snag all of the trainee's accounts when he leaves or is terminated. Maybe that is the plan to increase the bottom line. Gain revenue and decrease expenses (e.g., health insurance benefits).



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