Morgan Stanley Revamps Advisory Platform With WealthDesk

After being one of the first national firms to address the DOL’s now-defunct fiduciary rule, the firm says it is turning a new page in client service and adviser support by launching its digital WealthDesk platform.

According to Morgan Stanley executives, the firm has formally launched a new digital advisory platform that represents a significant shift in the way its registered representatives interact with wealth management and retirement clients.

The firm tells PLANADVISER its new advisory platform is designed to provide a consolidated view of client relationships and portfolios. The firm stresses that the platform “integrates planning, advice and implementation, all on one dashboard.”

“Developed in collaboration and at the request of many of our advisers, WealthDesk represents a significant enhancement to the way advisory relationships are managed and grown,” a spokesperson says. “Feedback from advisers in our pilot has been excellent.”

According to the firm, there are four key areas of WealthDesk. First is a “portfolio advice” solution that integrates the Morgan Stanley Goals Planning System (GPS). This includes an investment screening tool, and support with the implementation of portfolios for advisory accounts, which enables advisers to deliver comprehensive investment advice more efficiently.

Next, Morgan Stanley says, the enhanced risk analysis available in WealthDesk (powered by Aladdin) offers “a full suite of institutional-caliber risk analytics” so advisers can see the impact of portfolio changes before they are made. 

“Management and analysis of variances will also be made easier through the Variance Dashboard, which provides a view of variances across an adviser’s book of business in one place,” the firm says.

Beyond these features, WealthDesk establishes a pricing strategy that “aligns to the full value advisers deliver” and “consistently applies stored advisory fee schedules across CG billing relationships.”

The firm suggests one more powerful feature is the “client playback.” This is described as “a new consolidated summary which provides clients with a holistic view of their plans and portfolios each quarter.”

Asked whether the wealth platform will be put into use among the retirement specialists at Morgan Stanley, the spokesperson indicated that WealthDesk will be rolled out to the entire adviser force. This move is based in the firm’s belief that “the future of wealth is the combination of advisers and best-in-class technology.”

The spokesperson also confirmed trade media reports that the firm expects the WealthDesk platform to be rolled out over the next two years—and that it will become Morgan Stanley advisers’ preferred centralized client relationship management system over that time period.