Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

www.morganstanleysmithbarney.com
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Helpful (3)

If you want to jump into fire, then work here....

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in Chicago, IL
Former Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in Chicago, IL

I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO

Pros

Nice People
Brand Recognition
You are not micromanaged, management is hands off as long as you reach your numbers

Cons

It's all a numbers game, with the employees as well as prospective clients. In regards to employees, instead of focusing on quality, management hires Financial Advisor Associates (those entering the firm without an existing book) in high numbers and then weeds out nearly all -- including the most talented. Very high risk job regardless of the strength of your background. Promises of upside compensation are not realistic for 5 - 7 years in the business. Expect to make next to nothing after your 18 months of salary is up (Literally $30K - $50K).

Stress level associated with the job is incredibly high regardless of who you are, my entire class felt this way. Extremely high turnover. A lot is luck, I literally saw one person stay on when he didn't make his numbers for an entire year and then another person lost his job in the first 3 months and he had just barely missed his numbers (it's all based on the company's timing, you never know when they are going to do mass cuts).

Advice to Management

Focus on hiring qualified candidates and give them more support, you have to be losing a fortune with your current model of burn and turn, but you do keep the spoils of accounts from those you fire. You're diluting your brand through telemarketing and dinner seminars.

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  1. Helpful (1)

    An industry leader and great company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in Cleveland, OH
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in Cleveland, OH

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great compensation package
    Great work environment
    Products & Services they provide are better than the rest
    Good technical support assistance

    Cons

    Materials used to study for exams aren't very thorough, should upgrade to another type of learning system (Use STC - should go with Kaplan or another company)

    Advice to Management

    N/A

  2. Helpful (2)

    There were many daily challenges but going to work was fun; you never knew what awaited you. It kept things interesting.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in Tulsa, OK
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in Tulsa, OK

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The lisencing training is excellent if you have the discipline and mind to study hard on your own. The people and management at our branch genuinely cared about you and did their best to keep things fun yet professional. People, for the most part got along and if they didn't, the office is so big, it was easy to distance yourself from the ones you wanted to. The office is so big that there are experts somewhere on every subject and everyone was very giving of their time to teach newbies and answer any questions. Managers door was always presented as open. I loved working there but there were definitely cons to it as well.

    Cons

    Due to the merger a few years back, everything still operates on two systems. Things are getting closer and closer to being on one platform, but the right hand literally had no clue what the left hand was doing most of the time-depending on which platform you were trying to work from; MS or SB. Because of all this, as great of people as the management were, they just didn't have time for any of the trainees. They said and acted like their door was always open, and they would often listen, but there would be no follow up on any promises made. It is exactly as you read in most reviews, if you don't know or have some major assets under your belt or axcess to them right away, you won't meet the extremely high minimum benchmarks they require of you. They hire a ton, gather as many assets as they can and then fire a ton.

    Advice to Management

    I don't know what to say. I liked all the management and believe their intentions were good. But the support the trainees received was next to nothing. I know much of it had to do with the integration of the platforms keeping everyone so busy. A CSA for all the trainees, as promised certainly would have been helpful. I don't think it would have saved our jobs but unkept promises abounded there. That was rather frustrating, as well as being taught one way by one person and then later (after hours of work) finding out it should have been done a different way. Getting everyone on the same page as to how things are done I guess is what I'm trying to say.

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