InvestmentNews takes advisers through the developments and innovations in technology that'll change the way you do business today and tomorrow.

Morgan Stanley plans $500 million technology outlay

Attention likely put on 3D, the combined Morgan Stanley-Smith Barney platform

Jan 25, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

By Davis Janowski

The kludge that has resulted from combining the technology platforms of Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney into a single system, known as 3D, will receive additional attention this year from the fully merged firm, which plans to spend $500 million on technology over the next 18 months.

InvestmentNews received a copy of a memo that was sent to all Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Employees on Jan. 23 by the firm's brokerage president Gregory Fleming.

In a passage with the subhead “Platform Stability and Functionality,” Mr. Fleming wrote that the firm's most important objective “needs to be ensuring the system works efficiently every day, every time you log on.”

System instability has been pointed to as one of the chief irritants experienced and reported by brokers on an ongoing basis over the past year.

Mr. Fleming continued: “Clearly this presupposes minimal system slowness, freezing, and error messages.”

The additional technology investments would be in addition to “basic running costs” indicating additional development beyond normal operations, according to the document.

MSSB spokeswoman Christine Jockle confirmed the spending but declined to comment further.

My colleague Andrew Osterland and I have written about the 'teething pains' of the 3D platform for more than a year now.

Danny Sarch, founder of Leitner Sarch Consultants Ltd. and a regular contributor to InvestmentNews, has also written about the defections and has cited problems with the technology platform.

Related Stories:

MSSB's tech 'teething pains' a big headache for brokers

Now work really starts at MSSB

More teething pains as MSSB completes 3D rollout

Causes of tech snafu with MSSB 3D platform remain uncertain

Sarch: Behind the defection infection at MSSB

MSSB woes now in 3D


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured Research

The 2015 InvestmentNews Adviser Technology Study

This in-depth study provides a blueprint for the industry, providing actionable information to advisers, along with the latest solutions to help them drive profitability, efficiency and growth for their firm.

Featured video


How 401(k) advisers can use 'centers of influence' to grow their business

Leveraging relationships with accounting, benefits, and property and casualty insurance firms can help deliver new business leads for retirement plan advisers.

Latest news & opinion

Things are looking up: IBDs soared in 2017

With revenue up, interest rates rising and regulation easing, IBDs are soaring.

SEC advice rule may give RIAs leg up over broker-dealers

Experts say advisers will be able to point to their role as fiduciaries as a differentiator in the advice market.

Brokers accept proposed SEC rule on who can call themselves an adviser

Some say the rule will clear up investor confusion, but others say the SEC didn't go far enough.

SEC advice rule: Here's what you need to know

We sifted through the nearly 1,000-page proposal and picked out some of the most important points.

Cadaret Grant acquired by private-equity-backed Atria

75-year-old owner Arthur Grant positions the IBD for the 'next 33 years.'


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print