Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Offers 'Social' Advisers

This Most Connected Company balances social tools and regulatory scrutiny.

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In giving advisers new communication tools, MSSB is careful to follow regulations. The firm tracks and captures communication of its brokers and retains it for regulators. "Among the larger firms, Morgan Stanley has been a pioneer in that it allowed a huge pool of brokers to start using social networking first, although in a restricted manner," says Celent Communications analyst Sreekrishna Sankar.

Integrating MSSB meant more than merging two communication systems; decisions about the new company's public face also had to take into account the latest technology. In the past, the Global Investment Committee's "On the Markets" commentary was delivered via the Morgan Stanley website and email. The firm recently launched an iPad-only app that gives clients interactive access to the report.

"The iPad was chosen as the delivery channel because the screen size was perfect for commentary, charts, and videos," Pollak says. "Over half of our financial advisers already owned an iPad. In addition to On the Markets, we have deployed 3D Mobile, a mobile version of the Financial Advisors desktop, allowing them to access client information such as balances, positions, and activity. We are currently in development to deliver a mobile tool to allow [financial advisers] to conduct presentations with clients using the iPad."

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