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Horrible Pay and Conditions in Wealth Management Capital Markets

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Wealth Management Capital Markets  in  Purchase, NY
Current Employee - Wealth Management Capital Markets in Purchase, NY

I have been working at Morgan Stanley full-time for more than 3 years

Pros

Great gym. Free parking onsite.

Cons

This review specifically applies to wealth management trading floor based primarily in Purchase that covers top Financial Advisors' UHNW, middle market and HNW Clients. The division falsely advertises itself as Capital Markets, that is NOT to be confused with the venerable Global Capital Markets desk in the city that brings deals to the market for major companies.

Firstly, the horrible compensation ranges say it all:

After ones first three years, compensation (both base and 'bonus') is far below street avg even within UHNW/how bucket:
- Analyst ( yrs 1-3): $95k-$120k
- Associate ( yrs 3-6): $110k- $160k
- VP ( yrs 6-10): $110-$170k --> you are stuck now and doing exact same work as A2
ED (yrs 10- infinity): $150-$250k

In the past four months alone, the unit has lost 12 of its stronger performing analysts, associates and younger vps. It even lost its HR Rep in charge of "retaining talent." One would think management would be inquisitive as to this brain drain, especially when they trumpet the wealth management's staff support's "intellectual capital" as a point of strength in helping the firms top individual Clients. But they have not nor do they seem to care. They recruit finance and Econ majors from schools like Harvard, Brown, Georgetown, BC, Nova etc, train them up over a year period, only to lose many by year three. THE ENTIRE ANALYST CLASS OF 2008 IS GONE; all left to greener pastures.

Over the last four years, there has been 4 different heads of this division. That's right- MDs in charge of managing a 300 person division that produces a half billion in revenue per year just can't seem to stick around. This volatility at the top trickles down to the next rung of management (EDs and newer MDs) where a culture of solo performance, selfishness, complete lack of communication and mendacity permeates the environment.

Some examples:

- Multiple colleagues have told me, and I've heard it myself, that their manager told them that their performance review nor rating does NOT determine ones compensation. When pressed on what actually determines compensation, no manager has ever explained it. If for example you are a trader at the associate or vp level and produced $15MM in PnL for the year, you could very well get a 'bonus' of $20-30k pretax, and a low base; very uncompetitive for a 11 hr/day job with a 1 hr commute each way. This has occurred multiple of times to multiple ppl; don't think you'd be an exception. Regardless, no manager has ever explained the discrepancy between performance and pay. One can only infer it is because the division's management is of extremely poor quality and does not advocate senior execs on the divisions value add.

- stagnate compensation between analyst-vp. Many second year analysts get paid as much if not more than first-third year vice presidents. One third year associate recently left to lesser competitor and was offered twice their MSWM capital markets total compensation.

- three star associates who made VP in the last four months left to competitors after they found out their promotion came with a DROP in year on year compensation. They wete doubled at other firms. What kind of management promotes its up and coming officers only to then lower their year on year pay? Bad managers.

- There is an institutional desk in the city at Broadway and 42nd- where management should encourage relationships and communication to open up, there actually is a policy that says sales staff in Purchase cannot communicate with their colleagues in the city about any market/ job related issue.

- On top of a traders' PnL not being linked to anything comp related, neither are the sales force's sales commission. A sales person may do proactive trades that generate $10mm in gross credits over a year, but the managers do not attribute that work at the end of the year to that persons' efforts. Instead liken it to something that would have happened anyway. Well, what's the point of having a sales force then.

If you don't believe those numbers just do a check on glassdoor but select "Purchase" as location, not nyc. If you decide to join this desk despite this warning, realize you will. E joining a glorified help desk

Advice to ManagementAdvice

- I've heard a couple managers (ED level) use bigoted slurs that are regarded as homophobic in mainstream professional cultures. They should know better by then. I'm sure
the you get talent hears this as well and doesn't appreciate it. There is only one female traders and no ethnic minority traders.

- it is in Purchase. It is a major pain to ever so anything with clients. Management in fact encourages trading personal NOT to get to know clients or do standard things at other firms such as dinner, drinks, etc. as a trader, you have limited if any 'street coverage'. And in sales, you do not actually get to speak directly with clients, instead must go through a Financial Advisor. Integrate personnel there with the main institutional desk in the city.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

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