Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Reviews

Updated March 24, 2015
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3.4
510 Reviews
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Morgan Stanley Smith Barney President Greg Fleming
Greg Fleming
154 Ratings

Pros
  • Good understanding middle management about work/life balance (in 15 reviews)

  • Good benefits/PTO, fast-paced learning environment, great advisors (in 22 reviews)

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

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

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Call Center

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Customer Service Representative in Salt Lake City, UT
    Former Employee - Senior Customer Service Representative in Salt Lake City, UT

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

    Pros

    The office culture is great. People respect each other and help when needed. The senior management are fabulous, and even more so when you consider the tough job of managing a call center operation. The job was designed so that you were able to treat customers with the respect they deserve and still meet the qualifications of the job. So many call centers are only interested in numbers and profit. MSSB is also interested in those but realizes that their employees need to be treated well. The games to increase sales and productivity seemed a bit juvenile.

    Cons

    Call center... what more do I need to say.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I wasn't happy with all the decisions managers made (who is), but overall I have no regrets about working there and the only comments would be, keep doing what you are doing because it obviously works. You understand that people are your greatest asset.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Everyone's experience is different depending on the team you're in. Find a team you like and can learn a lot from.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consulting Group Analyst
    Current Employee - Consulting Group Analyst

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Access to global resources: you can learn a lot, fast. For the best pay and happiness factor, strive to be a Financial Advisor. Everyone in the company is open to informational interviews or coffee to talk about their experiences. You can learn everything you need to know about personal finances if you dig deep enough.

    Cons

    For CG Analysts and CSA's, your work load and happiness factor is attributed 99% with your team, which can have 1 to 3 Financial Advisors. If they're happy, things are great. When they're not, it's up to you to speak up and set expectations and reasonable deadlines. Don't count on management to intervene. Morgan Stanley will give you a low salary, you're really depending on the FA to supplement it. See 'Advice to Management' below for pay conflicts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support staff pay is highly discretionary to the financial advisors. There isn't a clear structure at all. I've seen overworked support staff have lower than others simply because they didn't negotiate with their Financial Advisors. There is a paradox in the business model for support staff: you will get the highest pay by negotiating your pay with your team's FA's (the highest leverage is a counter offer, aka another FA team), which means you should speak with other teams indicating your interest to switch, however, switching teams is frowned upon within the company. Management should provide more transparency to support staff showing their responsibilities and how much an FA is paying for that on average. This provides the support staff more evidence on how to price themselves fairly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. Great Firm before the sale

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

    Smith Barney was a great firm to work for. Everything changed when Sandy Weill left the firm. pper management was not concerned with the rank & file employees.

    Cons

    Every year the firm would clip your total income package. The more you make, the more you pay for benefits you receive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    don't push the envelope

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. Analyst in Wealth Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Prestigious brand; great culture; compensation is on par with industry norm

    Cons

    work-life balance, leader from time-to-time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more open to hear what those being managed by you have to say

    Positive Outlook
  6. Good place to start off at

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

    Some learning about capital markets and emerging markets. If you end up in a good team, they will feed you. There is always food from meetings.

    Cons

    Expect you to do all the grunt work. Only good for short term, because in the long term, the work does not change. Viewed as bottom of financial services.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Can speak more with interns rather than just asking for demands.

  7. I had a great experience working with a team of financial advisors during the summer.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Wealth Management Intern in New York, NY
    Former Intern - Wealth Management Intern in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Great environment. Everyone was very helpful and considerate. I had great exposure to the municipal bond market. I had face to face interaction with clients.

    Cons

    I didn't have a specific role so some of the days there was no work for me and it got kind of boring. The pay was very minimal and just covered my traveling expenses.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. Great Brand name, Tough environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    The company brand is excellent. Everyone knows who you are when you mention Morgan Stanley.

    Deep resources. Experts are available to collaborate on any technical or investing strategy issue

    Cons

    The first few years are challenging. The expectation is that you'll build your book of business quickly and you are on your own to do so. Balancing time spent in client acquisition and time spent on client service can be a challenge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Team up new advisers with experienced advisers so that they can learn the craft, learn best practices, and succeed more quickly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. Sweet and Sour- Overall good first experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst-Operations
    Current Employee - Analyst-Operations

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

    The culture in my team was great. There was a lot of team building activities by my direct VP. Additionally, she showed a lot of interest in my career goals and taken the necessary steps to accomplish them.

    Cons

    Very disorganized. In less than three years I reported to three different managers, three different VP as well as three different ED. The organization does not invest in their employees causing them to leave and you so much money is wasted in granting access and training new members of the team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your employers and you will spend less money hiring and training.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  10. Great experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

    Interaction with senior positions, flexibility

    Cons

    No solidified length of internship.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11. Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

    Excellent Management that really cares about your growth and personal well being. Doors are always open for questions if asked.

    Cons

    Nothing negative to say about MSSB

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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