Morgan Stanley (MS) to Fire Up to 300 Brokers

Morgan Stanley (MS) plans to cut 200 to 300 poorly performing brokers and trainees at MS Smith Barney, Reuters reports. The move will likely bring the firm’s ranks of financial advisers down to about 17,800 at the end of the current month, compared with 18,043 at the end of December.

Morgan, notes Reuters, makes the move after its broker force stabilized following a wave of departures around the time of its June 2009 acquisition of a controlling stake in Smith Barney. The firm’s execs have said they intend to have between 17,500 and 18,500 advisers over time.

MS lost 11 cents, or 0.38%, to $28.69 at 1:13 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

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