Morgan Stanley of New York cut four percent, or 1,500 positions, from its securities and investment management businesses, the largest company-wide layoff in its history, according to a company spokesperson.

The cuts were made across all levels but did not affect any of the firm's financial advisors, the spokesperson said.

The move is part of an effort to create operating efficiencies and improve overall company performance. The firm will continue to evaluate its structure and expenditures, however last week's layoff represents most of the cuts the firm will make, the spokesperson said.

Morgan Stanley reported a 30 percent decline in its first quarter net income from the same period last year and net revenues were down 14 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year. The firm's securities business was hit the hardest in the first quarter, posting a 37 percent decline in net income from the same period last year. The firm's asset management business declined seven percent in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

The cuts were made through a combination of early retirements and outright cuts, according to the spokesperson.

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