Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade Financial in $13-billion deal

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade Financial in $13-billion deal

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade Financial in $13-billion deal

According to The Wall Street Journal, which apparently was given advance notice of the deal between the two publicly traded companies, Morgan Stanley sees the addition of ETrade as a way to better compete against the likes of Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab Corp. "The combination adds an iconic brand in the direct-to-consumer channel to our leading advisor-driven model, while also creating a premier Workplace Wealth provider for corporations and their employees".

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, if regulators and shareholders approve it.

But the hook-up still leaves E-Trade smaller than Fidelity, Vanguard and Schwab in terms of assets and likely pressure smaller brokerage firms to partner up as the business of investment management continues to consolidate.

"By joining Morgan Stanley, we will be able to take our combined offering to the next level and deliver an even more comprehensive suite of wealth management capabilities", Pizzi said in a statement.

E-Trade, with 5.2 million client accounts and over $360bn of retail client assets, will be adding to Morgan Stanley's 3 million client accounts and $2.7tn of client assets, a press release said.

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"E-trade has almost 2 million corporate stock plan customers and so this strategically widens the potential opportunity for Morgan Stanley to convert those customers", Ryan added.

The acquisition of E*Trade allows Morgan Stanley to go a step further and manage the money, savings and assets of small investors.

Morgan Stanley is acquiring ETrade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion deal that is certain to reshuffle the deck among financial services industry giants.

Morgan Stanley slumped in early trading, dropping 4.5 per cent to US$53.75 at 7:39 a.m.in NY. "This isn't about legacy-building; it's about getting [Morgan Stanley] ready for prime time".

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