Morgan Stanley reported earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as equity-trading revenue jumped the most among the biggest Wall Street firms and profitability at the brokerage unit, the world’s biggest, increased.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the world’s largest brokerage, will operate with a “mid-teens” pretax margin by the first half of 2013 “irrespective of the market,” according to Greg Fleming, president of the business.
James Gorman strides across the stage of the auditorium on the top floor of Morgan Stanley’s Times Square headquarters. It’s late October, and he’s in the midst of the second investor revolt he’s been through in three years -- the first one coming during the financial upheaval of 2008.
Morgan Stanley shook up its top management ranks, naming Greg Fleming to replace Charles Johnston as president of the retail brokerage and picking Ken deRegt to take over for Jack DiMaio in attempting to turn around its fixed-income trading unit.
Morgan Stanley’s wealth-management business can reach profitability targets solely through cost cuts, meaning revenue improvements may provide a further boost, said Greg Fleming, president of the unit.