At this time, I would like to turn the program over to the President and Chief Executive Officer, James Gorman for today’s conference call.James Gorman Thank you operator, and good morning and thank you everyone for joining us. I am going to make some brief opening remarks before turning the call over to Ruth. As you all know, the second quarter was a very difficult environment for the businesses we operate in, and within the quarter, the second half was more challenging than the first half. The macro environment was characterized by uncertainties regarding global growth, concerns on European sovereign credit risks, and in the United States the impact of financial regulatory reform. Volumes in client activity across businesses were light, reflecting both institutional and retail investors’ lack of conviction. Notwithstanding this market environment, we continue to make progress on the execution of our strategy. We remain committed to deliberate and disciplined execution specifically. In institutional securities, we are continuing to build our world-class client franchise and there is evidence of clear progress as Ruth will provide in detail in a moment. Despite the broad impact of eroding risk appetite, several franchise businesses performed well including investment banking, prime brokerage, cash equity trading and commodities. We continue to broaden our footprint and build on our competitive strength and capabilities. Our increased client focus is gaining traction through the reinvigorated senior relationship management effort as well as our focused and coordinated sales coverage. On May 1 st, we closed on our joint venture operations with MUFG and are now running combined Japanese securities businesses. We have already seen tractions from our partnership. Last week for example, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation hired us to advice on a $3.2 billion purchase of Dimension Data, the biggest deal so far for the joint venture. In Global Wealth Management, we continue to integrate Smith Barney and made progress against the very detailed plan with the backdrop of a weak retail investor market. Retail investors have been risk averse in the current environment with high volatility and lot of returns in the equity markets. We believe this will continue in the immediate term. We expect margins to remain subdued through the year, and while we maintain our long-term pretax margin target of over 20%, the exact timing will obviously reflect market conditions.
In Asset Management, the sale of our retail asset management business to Invesco closed on June 1 st. Greg Fleming is building a long-term plan for this business and has made key senior highs to his management team this quarter. Obviously we would take into account the implications of the bulk rule as we move forward. We are investing our control, risk and finance functions as we build our infrastructure consistent with our desire to be a world-class financial holding company. While we have made progress this quarter, we still have significant work to do to achieve our long-term goals. In the short term however, earnings are likely to be choppy given the market environment.Finally, with the recent hiring of Frank Barron as our new Chief Legal Officer who starts later this summer, the new senior leadership team is in place and collectively focused on disciplined execution against those stated goals. Now, I am going to turn it over to Ruth to review our second quarter results. Ruth? Ruth Porat Thank you James. For the quarter ended June 30 th, Morgan Stanley generated income from continuing operations of $1.4 billion, with diluted earnings per share of $0.80 and an ROE of 12.2%. Our results this quarter reflect the global breadth of our franchise, early progress with our sales force sales as well as the benefit of strategic initiatives against the backdrop of very difficult markets as James noted. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com