Morgan Stanley plans to merge its institutional and wealth management municipal desks to provide more efficient trading services.
Patrick Haskell, head of fixed income municipal securities, and Eric Benedict, head of wealth management capital markets, will co-lead the effort, according to an internal note circulated at the firm..
The plan to restructure the two teams follows several initiatives to expand Morgan Stanley's access to retail clients. In June 2013, the company secured the purchase of the world's largest brokerage, a network of more than 16,000 financial advisors that the firm previously shared with Citi in a joint venture.
Combining the institutional and wealth management businesses will benefit both sell-side and buy-side clients, Michael Heaney, Robert Rooney and Andy Saperstein, said in the notice to the firm, first reported by Bloomberg.
"Financial advisors will benefit from access to more traders, expanded market intelligence and greater product selection as they work with clients to manage municipal portfolios," Heaney and Rooney, co-heads of fixed income, said in the note. Saperstein is head of investment products and services on the wealth management side.
"Municipal issuers likewise will benefit from powerful institutional distribution combined with the largest U.S. network of financial advisors serving some four million households," the note read.
Morgan Stanley chief executive officer James Gorman has stressed the importance of the firm's acquisition of the retail brokerage.
"Through our equities IPO franchise, investment banking franchise, and fixed income businesses, we have tremendous product offerings we can now bring to our wealth management clients around the country," Gorman said in a video on the company's website. "For our institutional clients, it gives them a clear platform to distribute their product on. We have $1.8 trillion of individuals' money looking for a place to put it to work."
Maria Bonello is a reporter for The Bond Buyer