Morgan Stanley 101: Bulge Bracket Investment Banking



Bulge bracket investment bank

Morgan Stanley (MS) is a global investment bank with a market capitalization of $65 billion. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, the company provides products and services to a diversified group of clients, including corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals. Morgan Stanley also provides the following:

  • financial advisory services
  • corporate lending services
  • fund-raising services
  • sales and trading services
  • fixed-income and commodities trading services

The company offers wealth management across asset classes, investment management, and research.

The company classifies its revenues according to three segments:

Article continues below advertisement
  • Institutional Securities, which provide financial advisory and capital-raising services
  • Wealth Management, which provides comprehensive financial services including wealth management to clients across the globe
  • Investment Management, which provides asset management, alternative investments, merchant banking, and real estate investing activities

Expanding operations

Morgan Stanley is headquartered in New York City but has regional branches across the United States, as well as major global offices in London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and other world financial centers. The company reported total revenues of $37.95 billion in fiscal 2014, with a net income of $3.48 billion.

Morgan Stanley operates globally, with nearly 56,000 employees as of December 31, 2014. Morgan Stanley competes with investment banks, financial advisors, and wealth management firms in and outside of the US. The company’s Wealth Management division manages $813 billion in client assets as of June 30, 2015. Its major competitors include:

  • Goldman Sachs Group (GS), whose client assets total $40.1 billion
  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM), whose client assets total $51.5 billion
  • Bank of America Corporation (BAC), whose client assets total $50.9 billion
  • Wells Fargo & Company (WFC), whose client assets total $47.6 billion

Together, these banks account for approximately 28% of the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF).

For more details about Morgan Stanley’s investment and lending activities, check out the next part of this series.


More From Market Realist