Morgan Stanley’s global wealth management business net revenue rose to $3.4 billion for the first quarter, while its total advisor ranks dipped to 17,800 in line with previously reported plans for cuts.The wealth management business’ net revenue was up from $3.1 billion from the previous year due to higher commissions and asset-based revenue. The group had pre-tax income of $348 million compared with $278 million for the first quarter of 2010.

The results come as Morgan Stanley continues to absorb the Smith Barney business it currently co-owns with Citigroup. In 2009, Morgan Stanley acquired a 51% stake in that business, with the ability to take that ownership to a full 100% in five years.

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