Morgan Stanley seeking female and millennial advisers and clients: Fleming

President of Morgan Stanley's wealth management unit discusses how these demographics will shape the future of wealth and the work force

Nov 10, 2014 @ 11:29 am

By Bruce Kelly

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is aiming to broaden its appeal to women and millennials as both clients and financial advisers.

The giant New York-based wealth manager and investment bank is actively plotting to recruit female and younger financial advisers, according to Gregory Fleming, president of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

The firm is ”very focused” on increasing its number of number of women in mid-career through recruiting, or women early in their career with training, said Mr. Fleming, who spoke Monday at the annual Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association conference in New York.

Morgan Stanley's efforts are also focused on increasing women in senior management positions, Mr. Fleming said. He noted that the wealth management unit's parent company recently added its third female member to its board of directors.

(More: Morgan Stanley hits profitability goal with fewer advisers)

The firm's strategy comes as demographics are moving to favor women, Mr. Fleming noted. By 2025, women will control or manage two-thirds of the country's wealth, he said. Morgan Stanley, with more than 16,000 financial advisers, aims to “run a business that better reflects the society we're living in,” he said.

The securities industry has a long history of employing fewer women than men and an overall lack of diversity. Industry estimates range from 15% to 25% of producing registered reps or financial advisers who are women.

Mr. Fleming did not state the number of female financial advisers currently working at Morgan Stanley. Spokeswoman Christine Jockle said the company does not publicly disclose its number of female financial advisers or those who are under 30.

Just as Morgan Stanley is attempting to broaden its appeal to female advisers and clients, it is also working to court Millennial advisers and investors, the generation born between 1982 and 1999, Mr. Fleming said.

Regardless of any current economic problems, such as debt, the Millennial generation will eventually be a tremendous economic force, Mr. Fleming said. They will inherit a tremendous amount of money from their baby boomer parents and will represent half of the workforce by 2030.

“This generation is different from every generation before it because this is the generation that really grew up with technology,” Mr. Fleming said. “They are more comfortable with technology than with face to face” meetings.

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