Morgan Stanley Smith Barney plans to continue to trim underperformers from its financial advisor force in addition to the 300 positions that it severed in the first quarter, a spokesperson for the firm confirmed on Tuesday.
The plan to continue scaling down Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s wealth management force was first made public in statements by Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat at the Deutsche Bank Global Financial Services Conference on Tuesday, according to reports.
“We may go below the previously stated range of 17,500-18,500 as we continue to prune underperformers, but we're not putting a number on it right now,” the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney spokesperson said.
The plans for further cuts come after Morgan Stanley Smith Barney shed about 300 financial adviser and trainee positions in the first quarter. The firm reported a total financial adviser count of 17,800 in its first quarter earnings report in April, within the targeted range of 17,500 to 18,500 after those cuts.
That first round of cuts was aimed at low-producing financial advisers and trainees. That included financial advisers who had been at the firm for more than a year and had less than $75,000 in annual production. It also included trainees that had been at the firm for six to 36 months and had $25,000 or less in annual production.
Plans for those cuts were on a case-by-case basis, and employees showing signs of improvement were said to be eligible for a reprieve.
Lorie Konish writes for Financial Planning.