Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Goes after Top Brokers

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MSSB) pumped up its recruiting package in order to attract top producers, Dow Jones reported.

The firm will offer top-tier advisers from its competitors up to 330% of their annual production to join the firm, representing an increase of 230% to 250% from the firm’s current recruiting package. Advisers at the top will get a 140% payment upfront with additional bonuses for asset and production growth, according to the news report.

Morgan Stanley acquired most of Smith Barney in the spring, forming the largest retail brokerage firm by number of advisers. The joint venture promptly rolled out a retention package (see “Morgan Stanley to Reward Top Producers“).

MSSB’s new recruitment deal is on par with competitors Merrill Lynch, which has been heavily recruiting advisers. “Our recruiting is competitive with everyone else’s on the Street,” MSSB spokeswoman Christine Pollak told Reuters.

The announcement comes as top wirehouses are vying for advisers. Movement of brokers was high earlier this year, and has recently slowed. Most brokers who do move tend to go to another brokerage firm (see “Wirehouse Movement Slows in October”).