Business

Morgan Stanley Advisers Can Now Write Their Own Tweets, With Supervisor Approval

Advisers with more than 15 followers can now tweet and retweet somewhat on their own.

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters / Reuters

Morgan Stanley’s brokers can tweet (somewhat) freely.

Morgan Stanley advisers with 15 or more followers will be able tweet and retweet on their own, but it first has to be approved by the firm. Advisers have been allowed to write their own LinkedIn posts since July, 2012.

The bank’s army of 16,000 financial advisors have been until now limited to only tweeting pre-written content provided by the firm on economic news, investing and wealth management, and some topical tweets.

Under the new policy, brokers will have to put up with all the same guidelines about public communications from financial advisers — no testimonials about their performance or tweets about niche investment products like derivatives or structured products that would typically require disclaimers, said Valentina Chtchedrine, an executive director for digital strategy in Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division. Also, whenever a Morgan Stanley advisers tweets, a supervisor will have to approve it to be published.

Of Morgan Stanley’s 16,000 advisers, 6,500 are part of the firm’s social media program and 1,300 are approved to use Twitter, a number that Chtchedrine expects to go up now that advisers can author their own tweets, “the ability to do custom content and engage with followers will cause a lot of advisers to reconsider and be active on Twitter,” Chtchedrine said.

The move is another marketing push for the firm’s wealth management business, which following the acquisition of its brokerage joint-venture with Citigroup, is now a bigger than ever segment of the bank. Expanding the size and profitability of wealth management, which brings in steadier profits and uses up less precious capital than higher risk trading business, has been one of chief executive officer’s James Gorman’s biggest strategic moves during his tenure.

Gorman, who took over as chief executive officer as 2010, was a senior wealth management executive at both Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, and has referred to the bank’s wealth and investment management businesses as Morgan Stanley’s “ballast.” In 2013, wealth management brought in 43.5% of the firm’s annual revenue, some $14.2 billion. In 2006, its $5.5 billion only accounted for 18.3% of revenue.

One thing the new policy promises, less of this: where Morgan Stanley advisers across the country were all saying the same thing.

Last week, some Morgan Stanley financial advisors tweeted about then-recently released economic data:

U.S. economy contracted by 2.9% in first quarter, sharply lower than originally reported 1% drop, via Reuters: http://t.co/koG141vtz5

— Richard P Owen (@rich_p_owenMS)

Or this tweet about a Barron’s cover story on Morgan Stanley:

Barron's cover story, “The New Face of Wall Street,” analyzes Morgan Stanley’s business strategy: http://t.co/l2l8qsIMLI

— David Ferman (@dfermanMS)

Barron's cover story, “The New Face of Wall Street,” analyzes Morgan Stanley’s business strategy: http://t.co/ZKKVESXBXy

— Kevin Lydon (@klydonMS)

Barron's cover story, “The New Face of Wall Street,” analyzes Morgan Stanley’s business strategy: http://t.co/uWTWw5dDk9

— TheCapitolBayGroupMS (@CapitolBayMS)

Or these tweets about Pride Month:

Morgan Stanley is proud to recognize #PrideMonth #LGBT

— @LUBINGROUPMS (@LubingroupMS)

Morgan Stanley is proud to recognize #PrideMonth #LGBT

— Sergio Lazzara (@SLazzaraMS)

Morgan Stanley is proud to recognize #PrideMonth #LGBT

— Matt Seaman, MBA (@MattSeamanMS)

As celebrations take place this #PrideMonth, Morgan Stanley is privileged to serve the changing wealth management needs of #LGBT clients.

— Jeffrey Wolfe (@JeffreyPWolfeMS)

As celebrations take place this #PrideMonth, Morgan Stanley is privileged to serve the changing wealth management needs of #LGBT clients.

— Clifford Mackay (@C_MackayMS)

As celebrations take place this #PrideMonth, Morgan Stanley is privileged to serve the changing wealth management needs of #LGBT clients.

— VanDusen Epstein MS (@VEGroupMS)

As celebrations take place this #PrideMonth, Morgan Stanley is privileged to serve the changing wealth management needs of #LGBT clients.

— Matt Seaman, MBA (@MattSeamanMS)

And some about 401(k)s and IRAs

Not sure how your 401(k) plan fits into your overall retirement strategy? I can show you how. Message me to learn more.

— Kate Sweeney (@SweeneyKateMS)

Not sure how your 401(k) plan fits into your overall retirement strategy? I can show you how. Message me to learn more.

— Josh Walters (@JoshuaWaltersMS)

Not sure how your 401(k) plan fits into your overall retirement strategy? I can show you how. Message me to learn more.

— Arthur J Lubin (@ArthurLubinMS)

Not sure how your 401(k) plan fits into your overall retirement strategy? I can show you how. Message me to learn more.

— Derek J. Botelho (@DerekBotelho_MS)

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Matthew Zeitlin is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Zeitlin reports on Wall Street and big banks.
Contact Matthew Zeitlin at matt.zeitlin@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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