Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

www.morganstanleysmithbarney.com
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Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Reviews

Updated June 21, 2015
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3.4
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney President Greg Fleming
Greg Fleming
136 Ratings

Pros
  • Stable career and good work/life balance (in 15 reviews)

  • Fortune 500 company with good benefits (in 22 reviews)

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

  • The training program was a complete joke (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

462 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Financial Advisor

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

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexibility in work day hours

    Cons

    Tough benchmarks to hit as a recent college grad


  2. Tough and quickly becoming obsolete industry

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

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Pros

    Freedom in how you spent your time prospecting. Some support from other financial advisors

    Cons

    Financial advising is oversaturated in most cities and is often overpriced while under-performing.


  3. CSA

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

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

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

    Pros

    Easy, mindless work. Never more than 8 hrs a day.

    Cons

    low pay, no advancement. Nothing more than a secretary.


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  5. Client Sales Associate

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney full-time

    Pros

    Solid benefits plan. I can't attest to the culture at every office but the culture at the one I worked it was very laid back and strong.

    Cons

    Like many large companies, it can be difficult to move up the ladder if you are starting at a low level position.


  6. Financial Advisor Trainee Program

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

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

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

    Pros

    They pay for all the Licensing fees, Lots of Products, you meet plenty of experienced FAs

    Cons

    Prelicense materials are bad, training Program set you up to fail, churn and burn through the Trainees, Older established FAs don't care about the Trainees, they whole Program does not work.

    Advice to Management

    Scrap the Program and start over. Or a least 6 months of month Zero to learn how to succeed


  7. Good Company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Wealth Management in Mount Laurel, NJ
    Current Employee - Wealth Management in Mount Laurel, NJ

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You have the ability to learn a lot from strong teams

    Cons

    Lots of cold calls
    Little communication with other teams


  8. Global Wealth Management Analyst

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Analyst in Baltimore, MD

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great opportunity to learn and a high volume of work allows one to be able to indulge in many different situations and learning experiences.

    Cons

    Work became a little difficult when overtime was cut


  9. Call Center

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  10. Helpful (1)

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  11. Great Firm before the sale

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

    I worked at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    don't push the envelope



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