Morgan Stanley at Work, the wirehouse’s workplace benefits business, is adding support for fractional shares to its stock plan platforms.
Workplace stock plan participants on both the Equity Edge Online and Shareworks platforms can now trade any portion of equity shares or sell just enough to cover taxes. This will help participants keep a greater number of equity shares after vesting and increase the number of tax strategies available, according to the firm.
Morgan Stanley is also adding new technology to Shareworks that automates when participants go on a leave of absence or return from leave, eliminating the need for stock plan administrators to manually update vest schedules. And administrators using Equity Edge Online can now build customized automated workflows to improve efficiency and productivity, said Mark Mitchell, chief product officer of Morgan Stanley at Work.
“We have our foot firmly on the gas to improve the lives of administrators and their participants through technology that turns once analogue processes into seamless automation,” Mitchell said in a statement. “These recent enhancements help save companies time and costs while also mitigating risks.”
Morgan Stanley launched its workplace business in 2019 with the $900 million purchase of Solium Capital Inc.’s stock plan business, which is now Shareworks. The business expanded in 2020 with the $13 billion acquisition of ETrade Financial, which included the Equity Edge Online platform, and in 2021 through partnerships with record keepers Empower Retirement and Vestwell.
The wirehouse has continued to bolster the business in 2022 through acquisitions. In February, Morgan Stanley picked up Cook Street Consulting, a retirement planning firm with $72 billion in assets, and in June it bought American Financial Systems, which specializes in nonqualified executive benefit plans.
In an April conference call with investors and analysts to discuss the firm’s earnings, Morgan Stanley chairman and CEO James Gorman said there will be “a lot of investment around the retirement workplace platform, which I think is sort of the next frontier.”
“And we are just in baby steps, we are very early days of that, but I think that’s a huge opportunity,” Gorman said.
The firm is tightly integrating the workplace benefits platforms with its overall adviser workstation, hoping to create a single platform to serve any of a client’s financial needs.
[More: Wirehouses ready for their ‘Empire Strikes Back’ moment on adviser fintech]
Speaking out on the proposed Kansas abortion amendment
Written by: Source link