Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Is on a Hot Streak This Year

Finally, Friday! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC, but I’m on my way to Blackpool, England, to apply for a job as a seagull deterrent

Fun Fact Friday: Phyllis Smith, the actress who plays the soft-spoken sales rep Phyllis Vance in “The Office,” got her start as an NFL cheerleader and burlesque dancer. Check out photos from her previous gigs.

Today, we’ve got stories on Carlyle’s new leadership training program led by a four-star admiral, why fintechs should be more selective about the customers they pursue, and the highest-paying jobs in the US (no, it’s not all finance).

But first, the rich get richer.

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James Gorman

Mark Lennihan/AP

1. Wealth always wins.

It’s good to be Morgan Stanley these days.

Amid a difficult market for Wall Street banks — thanks in large part to non-existent deal flow — Morgan Stanley’s massive wealth business has been paying off big time. 

The bank has certainly felt the pain from the lack of M&A and IPOs, as evident in its recent earnings report, but it’s proven to be a bit more insulated than some of its peers.

Managing rich people’s money is never a bad thing, but it’s particularly helpful when there is a lot of uncertainty. Nothing like some consistent fees from overseeing trillions of dollars in assets to calm the shareholders.

But Morgan Stanley’s success isn’t coming in a vacuum. It’s happening while some of its rivals are in crisis.

– Goldman Sachs, despite wanting to build its wealth business, is battling fires on multiple fronts. 

– Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, two firms that thrived on their relationships with the wealthy, are kaput.

– Credit Suisse, another key player in the wealth-management community, was also a victim of the recent banking crisis.

-Meanwhile, UBS, arguably Morgan Stanley’s biggest competitor in the space, was begrudgingly saddled with Credit Suisse’s carcass.

– And now First Republic, another bank that built its brand serving the wealthy, seems to be on its last legs.

Which brings us to Insider’s Hayley Cuccinello’s story on how Morgan Stanley is benefiting big from First Republic’s decline by scooping up its advisors. But it’s not just a matter of getting talent in the door. It’s how the bank has been able to do it.

With wealth advisors, a key part of hiring includes offering “bonuses” that are actually loans. (For more on this complicated compensation structure, check out Hayley’s story from July.)

The loans also serve as a retention tool. Advisors have to pay them back if they exit a firm early.

Sometimes, a bank might offer to pay the prospective employee’s loan off. But when it comes to First Republic, which offered advisors extremely generous loans to join, that’s a big ask. 

As advisors look for an exit opportunity from First Republic, they are making the jump regardless. And they’re also less picky about getting a big bonus to join, thanks to the current circumstances. That means Morgan Stanley has managed to get a bunch of advisors at a discount.

It’s like buying candy the day after Halloween. Except instead of Snickers and Skittles, it’s people with massive books of business.  

For more on how Morgan Stanley is scooping up First Republic’s advisors at a steep discount, click here.

In other news:

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Marc Parroquin

2. Carlyle’s got a boot camp for its top leaders led by a four-star Navy Admiral. James Stavridis runs a leadership program for the PE firm’s partners. He shared four qualities that make for a good leader in any industry.

3. For fintechs looking to attract customers, it’s quality over quantity. Times are tough for fintechs these days, but startups should still be savvy about the new users they’re trying to attract. Experts break down why it’s more important who you get versus how many you get.

4. Preparing for a recession that never comes could be its own disaster. The bond market is pointing to a recession, but what if it’s wrong? Renaissance Macro Research’s Neil Dutta explains why investors banking on a recession might be in for a rude awakening if one never comes. Here’s why.

5. The king of AI. OpenAI’s ChatGPT has revolutionized the way we view AI’s impact on our daily lives. So what’s next? This profile of the company’s CEO, Sam Altman, provides some interesting perspective on what the future could hold. More here.

6. JPMorgan workers are taking the return-to-office mandate about as well as you could expect. The bank’s employees took to an internal forum to criticize JPMorgan’s recent decision to force managing directors back in the office five days a week, Reuters reports. Here are some of their biggest gripes.

7. ChatGPT to save BNPL? The buy now, pay later industry is down bad, with once-darling Klarna seeing its valuation drop by 85%. But ChatGPT could help the Swedish company rebound, according to Fortune.

8. Forget doing what you love. Do what pays you the most. We’ve got data on the highest-paying jobs in America. For all the talk of money in tech and finance, the medical profession has some eye-popping salaries. (Not so much for the media biz.) Here’s a list of the 30 jobs with the highest average annual pay.

9. A step-by-step guide to all the cool stuff to order at Starbucks. It’s time to switch it up from that lame iced coffee. A former barista details 11 of the best things to order, including instructions on how to do it. (It’s venti, not large, you dope.) Check them all out here.

10. Dirty talk for dummies. If you’re looking to spice things up in the bedroom, try incorporating some trash talk. A dominatrix breaks down all the dos and don’ts. Lesson one: Check with your partner before you start whipping out insults.

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Nathan Rennolds (tweet @ncrennolds) in London. 

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