Media Moves

Morgan Stanley to slash 1,500 jobs

December 10, 2019

Posted by Irina Slav

Morgan Stanley will reduce its headcount by 1,500 on the back of uncertainty about the global economy’s growth prospects.

Elizabeth Dilts Marshall and Bharath Manjesh had the news for Reuters:

Morgan Stanley (MS.N) is cutting about 2% of its workforce globally due to an uncertain global economic outlook, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Most of the employees impacted by the job cuts, which hit businesses across the bank, have been informed. Spared from the job cuts are financial advisers in Morgan Stanley wealth management.

The bulk of the terminations will be in technology and operations units, CNBC reported earlier on Monday.

The Wall Street investment bank and wealth firm has been trying to keep compensation expenses down because it expects revenue next year to be under pressure from market volatility, ongoing trade tensions and a global economic slowdown, according to the source.

Morgan Stanley had 60,532 employees as of Sept. 30.

Lisette Voytko reported for Forbes:

After posting strong third-quarter earnings, Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley will reportedly cut around 2% of its workforce⁠—about 1,500 jobs⁠—as part of a year-end streamlining effort spurred by uncertain global growth outlook and a need to manage compensation expenses. 

  • Included in the cuts: multiple managing directors and executives in sales, trading and research operations (but financial advisors in wealth management are reportedly safe).

  • The technology and operations divisions are expected to be hit with the biggest cuts.

  • According to CNBC, Morgan Stanley employed roughly 60,000 people worldwide as of September.

  • Reuters reported that market volatility, trade wars and a worldwide economic slowdown prompted the layoffs, and most of the affected employees have been informed.

  • Morgan Stanley’s shares were down slightly going into Monday’s closing bell. 

CNBC’s David Reid and Hugh Son wrote:

The job cuts at the investment bank, the world’s biggest equities trading firm and a leading mergers advisor, will hit technology and operations roles hardest, said the people, who declined to be named. New York-based Morgan Stanley had 60,532 employees as of Sept. 30.

Mark Lake, a company spokesman, declined to comment.

In October, the bank posted third-quarter profit and revenue figures that beat analysts’ expectations. The company produced $10.1 billion in revenue, exceeding analysts’ average estimate by approximately $500 million.

During the post-financial crisis era marked by declining trading revenue, Wall Street firms often cut jobs toward the end of the year to avoid paying out bonuses. Morgan Stanley is the first known instance of this, but other firms will likely announce cuts as planning for 2020 continues.

Morgan Stanley shares have climbed 25% this year amid a broad rebound in bank stocks.


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