NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Morgan Stanley (MS - Get Report) is reportedly firing hundreds of poorly performing brokers and trainees as the investment banking giant continues to sharpen the edges of its wealth management division.
According to a Reuters report, Morgan is planning to let go of 200 to 300 staffers, which represents less than 2% of its year-end total of about 18,000. The company will still have the largest brokerage force on Wall Street, due to its Smith Barney joint venture with Citigroup (C).
Morgan Stanley is making changes to the culture and performance of its combined wealth management franchise, which will eventually include all of Smith Barney, along with its legacy team.The company is reportedly considering dropping the Smith Barney name from its wealth management division as it continues to integrate the business. It also recently named Greg Fleming, the former president and chief operating officer of Merrill Lynch, to replace Charles Johnston as president of the brokerage unit as Johnston plans to retire. Although Morgan may be getting rid of employees who didn't perform well, the firm doesn't appear to be whittling down staff on a permanent basis. Morgan Stanley has said it plans to maintain a headcount of 17,500 to 18,500 in its brokerage business and has put in place incentives to keep top revenue generators. Some of those losing their jobs didn't make the cut of an advisor training program.
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