Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

  www.morganstanleysmithbarney.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated Apr 1, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 21 reviews

50% Approve of the CEO

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney President Greg Fleming

Greg Fleming

(6 ratings)

65% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Additionally, the hours are extremely good and able to maintain a great work life balance(in 11 reviews)

  • Good benefits/PTO, fast-paced learning environment, great advisors(in 21 reviews)


Cons
  • There is a disconnect between the companies desire for Financial Advisor Associates to succeed and their actions(in 19 reviews)

  • Invariably, unless you are part of a team you will not make it through the training program(in 13 reviews)

21 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

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

    Financial Advisor Associate (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

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

    ConsIt'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 Senior ManagementFocus 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    very good.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsYou get to work with some of the smartest people in the industry. Also, culture supports innovation and continuous improvement.

    ConsThe financial industry is going through a tough time and certainly this company is not immune to the industry risks that are present.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good job and continue to focus on risk management and bring stability to various business units around the world.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Slow movement, hard headed management. No room to advance

    Financial Analyst (Former Employee) Lake Barrington, Lake, IL

    ProsBenefits, flexibility. fellow analyst, facility

    Conshours, intelligence, mobility upwards, pay

    Advice to Senior Managementlet some younger brighter minds participate in decision

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Helped various advisers with mutual fund research, cold calling, and marketing materials

    Intern (Former Employee) Oakbrook Terrace, IL

    Pros-Smart people
    -Nice location
    -Great research resources
    -Resume builder

    Cons-Cold calling is required
    -Advisers are not all friends, so its weird
    -Very quiet
    -older employees

    Advice to Senior ManagementCold calling does not work well enough to waste interns time on it. They could be used more efficiently by creating brochures or sitting in on Fund sales pitches

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great experience

    Intern (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsLearned a ton, various experiences, various industries.

    ConsGot coffee all the time

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagers at MSSB, i.e. not the people who actually gain clients and service them, are pretty incompetent and not respected all that much

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Internship at Smith Barney Private Wealth Management

    Intern (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    Prosgood name to place on your resume, conveniently located near the train station, leaving for personal appointments is no problem

    Consvery old school in terms of management and culture, no ethnic diversity, corporate ladder at its finest, treat you like a robot

    Advice to Senior Managementno

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Good place to obtain securities licenses

    Financial Advisor Trainee (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsIf 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.

    ConsIf 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 Senior ManagementTrainees 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).

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Probably not the best choice

    Sales Assistant (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsBonuses can be good depending on the broker(s) you're working with. Hours are managable, not typically much more than 40 hours per week.

    ConsVery little recognition for work completed. Many brokers are very condescending and if you're stuck with the wrong broker(s) the bonuses may pale in comparison to other sales assistants.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHave a better awareness of the salaries at competing firms. Tie bonuses into overall branch performance rather than leaving them up to brokers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Intern at MSSB

    Portfolio Management Intern (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsGreat people work there, flexible with time off during finals, and as an intern you get a good solid base of a finance and software programs.

    ConsDo not pay interns that well, the job is monotonous, and some of the people you deal with are incompetent and it is difficult not to say anything to them.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLeadership is pretty basic because I work in private wealth management, you have the management who oversee everything, but then you have each Financial Advisor who have Client Service Associates working for each of them.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great, well-respected place to work.

    Wealth Management Intern (Former Employee) Glenview, IL

    ProsMy group at Smith Barney proved a great place to get my feet wet in the financial industry and learn all about different types of investments and aspects of building a portfolio. My team was fantastic at giving me on-the-job training and giving me more and more responsibility as I proved myself in each assignment.

    ConsThe FA compensation is structured such that, at least for my team, it is in their best interest to provide their wealthier clients with the best service while mostly overlooking their smaller clients.

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide Private Wealth Management teams with more structure on how to manage their book and keep up with regular client reviews.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Worked for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.