Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Reviews

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21 Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful

    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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    very good.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Slow movement, hard headed management. No room to advance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Lake Barrington, Lake, IL
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Lake Barrington, Lake, IL

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

    Benefits, flexibility. fellow analyst, facility

    Cons

    hours, intelligence, mobility upwards, pay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    let some younger brighter minds participate in decision

    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Oakbrook Terrace, IL
    Former Employee - Intern in Oakbrook Terrace, IL

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Cold 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

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Great experience

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

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

    Learned a ton, various experiences, various industries.

    Cons

    Got coffee all the time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful

    Internship at Smith Barney Private Wealth Management

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

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    no

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful

    Good place to obtain securities licenses

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

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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).

    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Probably not the best choice

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Very 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. 1 person found this helpful

    Intern at MSSB

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Portfolio Management Intern in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Portfolio Management Intern in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

    Great 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.

    Cons

    Do 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 ManagementAdvice

    Leadership 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.

    Recommends
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    Great, well-respected place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Wealth Management Intern in Glenview, IL
    Former Employee - Wealth Management Intern in Glenview, IL

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

    My 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends

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